Best of Turkey

Trip Code: ERSI

Why we love it

Discover the unique traditions and mysticism of Rumi’s Mevlevi Order at its birthplace of Konya, and watch the devout whirling dervishes act out a hypnotic sema performance in Bursa., Explore thousands of years of history hidden within the remarkable ruins of Ephesus, and have an exclusive tasting of the local produce in the Turkish mountain village of Sirince., Wade through the magical hot springs at Pamukkale and uncover the streets of Hierapolis that Cleopatra once walked with your small group., In Kas, discover a whole new level of relaxation on board a traditional Turkish gulet with an included coastal cruise on the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean., With plenty of time to explore the caves churches, underground cities, prehistoric rock formations and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, you’ll be able to choose your own land (or air!) adventure.

Is this trip right for me?

From the ancient city of Ephesus to the trek to Oludeniz, this trip can involve a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness. 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 of Turkey. 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.

The overnight boat trip is weather dependent and seasonal. Summer departures will spend one night on the boat and one night in a local pension.  

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 you'll have to carry your own luggage on and off the bus, so make sure it doesn’t exceed our weight and size recommendations. You can find specifics under ‘Packing’ in the ‘Essential Trip Information’ section.

Your Turkish coastal cruise takes place on a traditional gulet, and depending on the season, is subject to change. Please read the ‘Special Information’ section in Kas for more specific details on your coastal cruising itinerary. Keep in mind that these seasonal changes may affect the inclusion of some meals during this time.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement exclude days 8,9 (Overnight Boat) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip starts in Istanbul on Day 1 at 1.00 pm. This allows time after the joining meeting to explore Istanbul with your Leader.
3. There is an internal flight on this trip and most internal flights in Turkey have a luggage restriction of 15kg checked and 8kg cabin.
4. This itinerary operates on a seasonal Itinerary. See Essential Trip Information days 8 and 9 for further information.
5. On the final day, this trip finishes at the New Istanbul Airport between 11.30 am -2.30 pm. Transport facilities are available at the Airport including Metro, Local Bus and Taxi to take you anywhere in the greater Istanbul.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

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

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

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

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

CLOTHING & CLIMATE:
Temperatures are highly variable depending on the time of year and the region you are travelling in. Winters range from freezing in the central and eastern areas, cold in Istanbul and relatively mild on the west coast. Summer (June to August) can be extremely hot all over the country. Spring and autumn tend towards warm days and cooler nights. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat essential. 

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

BATTERIES/POWER:
Most of our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras regularly. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery for your camera just in case. Charging of batteries is advised before checking out of your hotel rooms. Please bear in mind there may be some nights were electricity may not be as readily available as you might be used to i.e overnight boat

Physical rating

 
2

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

Joining your group

Manesol Galata Hotel, Arap Cami Mh., Billur Sk., 34421 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Istanbul, TURKEY

Set in an historic building, Manesol Galata is a 5 minute walk from the iconic Galata Tower. This hotel offers a terrace with panoramic views and comfortable modern rooms. Karakoy stretches along the scenic waterfront north of Istanbul’s Galata Bridge, and trendy cafés and old-style restaurants line the streets of this diverse, lively neighborhood.

Joining instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details, including which airport in Istanbul, at least 14 days prior to your departure.

There are two international airports servicing Istanbul. Istanbul Airport (IST) is 50kms/30miles northwest of central Istanbul, on the European side. Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is 50kms/30miles southeast of central Istanbul, on the Asian side. From either airport you can take a metered taxi to the joining point hotel. The taxi fare will cost approx. TRY150-200.

Arriving at Istanbul Airport (IST)
If you have advised your flight arrival details, you will be met at Istanbul Airport (IST) outside the Arrivals Hall, at Gate 13, by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. This is the only gate to exit the airport.

Arriving at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)
If you have advised your flight arrival details, you will be met at Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) outside the airport, at Column 13, by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign

Finishing your trip

Istanbul New Airport, , Istanbul, TURKEY

This trip finishes on arrival at Istanbul Airport (IST) on the final day of the trip. Please refer to the itinerary for expected arrival time.

Departing from Istanbul Airport (IST)
If you are booking an international flight, departing on the final day of the trip, we recommend booking a flight after 7pm.

Departing from Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW)
If you are booking an international flight, departing on the final day of the trip, we recommend booking a flight after 8:30pm. Upon arrival at IST, you can book a shuttle service to take you to SAW.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 14

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 2

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.

Climate & seasonal information

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, very dry, hot summers and very cold winters. Istanbul and coastal centres can experience very high humidity.

Winter (November to March) can be very cold. Not all of our hotels have heating so consider bringing thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period. Summer (June to August) can be very hot. Not all of our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do it's not always functioning. Please consider the seasons when planning your trip.

RAMADAN 2021
In 2021, the important month of Ramadan or Ramzan in Turkey will be in progress from 12 April through until 11 May, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival or Bayram in Turkey 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.

Ramadan month can differ from country to country and region to region, it can be a wonderful inclusion in your vacation. If you have concerns about travelling at this time, please check with Intrepid or your booking agent before your departure.

In case of emergency

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. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

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

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

Intrepid's Local Operator: +905324708855

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Our Turkish Coast Cruise is operated on a traditional Gullet. Cabins are used for storing luggage, changing and bathroom facilities only. Sleeping is on deck. A mattress, sheet and blanket are provided for camping on deck under a starry Mediterranean sky. You may like to consider bringing a sleep-sheet for this activity, please refer to our packing list.

Transportation

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.


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