Highlights of Turkey & the Greek Islands

Trip Code: ERSZC

Why we love it

Taste local fruit wines in one of the best-preserved Greek Ottoman villages in the country. The small village of Sirince is picture perfect., Get up close and personal with the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia on a valley walk that'll have you exploring rock-cut dwellings in Love Valley or the rose-coloured hues of Red Valley., Discover the back streets and vibrant local markets of Istanbul, where East meets West., Fall asleep on the Aegean Coast and wake up in Central Anatolia on the Mavi Konya, an overnight train from Izmir to Konya., Uncover thousands of years of civilisation in Athens with a visit to the world-famous Acropolis and the ancient Agora., Wander through the charming villages of Syros. When night falls, indulge in delicious seafood dinners in traditional tavernas as Rembetika music floats around you., With its boutique culture, gorgeous beaches and thumping nightlife, the chic isle of Mykonos invites you to embrace your hedonistic side., The sight of a Santorini sunset can turn even the most hardened of souls into a romantic. Walk along the volcanic rim of the island from Thira to Oia, passing through picturesque white villages that cling to plunging cliffs.

Is this trip right for me?

You will need to carry your bags on and off local trams and trains and ferries during this trip. Some of the Greek Islands are very hilly and mountainous, which means lots and lots of steps are an inherent feature of the landscape. You will have to be able to easily lift your luggage and carry it up and down stairs and inclines. Also, stone streets become very slippery when wet. 

This trip has two included flights in Turkey and internal luggage restrictions of 15 kg apply. If you are travelling for a longer period it is possible to store excess luggage in Istanbul.

The flight connection from Istanbul to Athens has a 23 kg checked in allowance and 8 kg hand baggage.

There is an overnight train on this trip, the train is twin share with comfortable beds and all linen is supplied.

We have had reports of travellers being pick pocketed on public transport in Athens. Please be careful with your valuables while travelling on the metro or the bus.

Transport in Greece is by way of  large ferries that transport hundreds of people, along with cars and trucks. There are no reserved seats and passengers are free to walk around the ferry freely. Luggage is stored in a designated area on the car deck and is not accessible while the ferry is moving.

Summer temperatures in Turkey and Greece can reach up to 40°C, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. On the other hand, early in the season (April) many businesses may still be closed and the weather is unpredictable, however you may have some of the major sights almost to yourself. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. 

Important information

1. This trip starts in Istanbul on Day 1 at 1.00pm. This allows time after the joining meeting to explore Istanbul with your Leader.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 4 (Overnight train) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. This trip has two included internal flights, there is a 15kg checked and 8kg luggage restriction.  Excess Luggage can be stored in the Istanbul starting point hotel.
The international connection between Istanbul and Athens has a 23 kg checked in luggage allowance and 8 kg hand luggage.
4. This trip has an overnight train included, the train is comfortable and reserved on a twin share basis, with comfortable beds, pillows and linen supplied, most people get a goods nights sleep on the train.
5. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Turkey before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

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 or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day.

Physical rating

 
2

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

Albatros Hotel, Karterados, Santorini, GREECE, Phone: +30 2286023435

Hotel Albatros is situated in the village of Karterados, a 20-minute walk or short bus ride away from Thira, the main town of Santorini. The hotel features a pool with a pool bar, free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour reception. Rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, air-conditioning and a TV.

If you are making your own way to Santorini Airport (airport code JTR) or back to the port the hotel will be able to organise a taxi or transfer for you.

If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Santorini Airport (JTR) you will be collected at the hotel reception 2 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +30 6979117622.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 11

Lunches included: 1

Dinners included: 1

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
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, 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.

HOT WEATHER
Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

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.

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

Intrepid's Local Operator: +49 (0) 8677 918 66 57

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

There is an overnight train on this trip. Travel is reserved  on a first class couchette basis.  Cabins are twin share, have individual climatic control for your comfort, a small refrigerator in each couchette and a wash basin.  Toilets are available at each end of the carriage.  Bedding is supplied.  There is a restaurant car available offering basic snacks.

STRIKES
Ferry strikes, bad weather and the general unpredictable nature of Greek public transport means you need to be prepared for possible delays and itinerary changes.

GREEK FERRIES
The main means of transportation in the Greek Islands is by public ferry. These ferries are large car ferries that transport hundreds of people, along with cars and trucks. There are no reserved seats and passengers are free to walk around the ferry freely. Luggage is stored in a designated area on the car deck and is not accessible while the ferry is moving.


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