Turkey: Women's Expedition

12 Days from $1,700

START: Istanbul

FINISH: Istanbul

AGES: 15 - 99

THEME: Expedition

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

Turkey is often cited as the ultimate convergence of east and west – traditional spice bazaars and ornately adorned mosques thrown together with high speed, cross-country trains and bustling cosmopolitan cities. On this women-only expedition, you’ll discover both the traditional and modern wonders of Turkey through the lives of the women who live here. From the ancient practices of an Ottoman-style hamam to the art of Turkish coffee fortune-telling and even a visit to a Syrian refugee social enterprise, you’ll meet many extraordinary local women and experience what life is like through their eyes.

Start: Istanbul

Finish: Istanbul

Ages: 15 - 99

Theme: Expedition

Accommodation: Hotel (10 nights), Pension (1 night)

Destination: Istanbul

Highlights

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Spend an afternoon with female Syrian refugees and hear how they’re rebuilding their lives over lunch and an earring-making workshop.
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Make the perfect cup of Turkish coffee at a family home in Istanbul and learn how to read your fortune in the coffee grounds.
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Spend a day at sea with a female skipper where you’ll visit a sunken city, swim in crystal clear waters and spend the night in an idyllic seaside village.
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Enjoy a traditional meal in a Cappadocian cave home, cooked by a local woman who is changing the face of women in tourism.
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Take part in ‘Gold Day’ in Eskisehir, a local event that’s strictly for women and where all the secret women’s business happens in Turkey.
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Relax in an Ottoman Style hamam and learn about this ancient women’s ritual.

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Istanbul

Merhaba! Welcome to Turkey. This women’s only expedition kicks off in Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have previously all called home. Your welcome meeting commences at 6pm at your hotel, so make sure you have all your important documents ready to give to your leader. Until then, you’re free to go out and explore some of Istanbul’s iconic sites like the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (commonly known as the Blue Mosque). After your welcome meeting, head out to enjoy an optional dinner together and get to know your group and local leader. Life in this part of Istanbul is very cosmopolitan with women of all demographics going out with friends for raki and mezze or coffee.

icon check Day 2 : Istanbul

This morning head to the Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Market, to meet a local spice merchant and learn about Turkey’s best spice blends. You’ll also get to satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to a traditional Turkish Delight merchant. Next, you’ll visit the magnificent Ottoman-built Suleymaniye Cami (Suleymanie Mosque), which sits high above the natural harbour of the Golden Horn. From here you’ll explore the Grand Bazaar with some opportunities for shopping for local wares at this bustling hub. After a break and light lunch, you’ll jump on the tram and head to suburban Istanbul to meet a local mother and daughter in their home. Here you’ll sample some homemade borek before the women teach you how to make the best cup of Turkish coffee. They’ll also demonstrate the traditionally female art of fortune-telling from coffee grounds, which is passed down between generations in Anatolian culture. The evil eye is a very common talisman in this part of the world used to protect us from the envy of others, but what happens if we did not have our evil eye? find out how we break these curses using the ancient process of Kursan. For generations, Turkish women have used this method to remove this bad luck from their homes and their families.

icon check Day 3 : Istanbul

This morning it’s time to prove your hips don’t lie, with a female only class in the art of ciftetelli, Turkish belly dancing. Ciftetelli goes by many names but is a traditional part of Turkish weddings for both men and women. After class, you’ll get a tram to an area of the city that has become home to many displaced Syrians. Zeytin Agci (The Olive Tree of Istanbul) is the community centre of Small Projects Istanbul. Here you’ll meet with local Syrian women who run a small social enterprise called Drop Earrings Not Bombs, where they handmake earrings. Join the women for lunch, learn about their stories and make your own pair of earrings, before enjoying a free evening.

icon check Day 4 : Kas

This morning you’ll take a one-hour flight to Dalaman on the Turkish Mediterranean coast and then make a two and a half journey to Kas. With its postcard-perfect harbour, bougainvilleas and whitewashed walls, it’s one the most picturesque destinations on the Mediterranean coast. On arrival, take a walk around the town centre or maybe go swimming before a relaxing sunset yoga class. You may wish to join in on an optional dinner at Mamma’s Kitchen – a mother and daughter run restaurant that is famous in Kas for recipes like “Mamma’s pastry”. If you feel like a walk after dinner, the local handicraft market is open till late and there are some spectacular pieces to choose from.

icon check Day 5 : Kekova

This morning you’ll transfer to Ucagiz, a short 45 minutes by van. Declared off-limits to developers, Ucagiz is a quaint fishing and farming coastal village amid islands and peninsulas. Here you’ll meet Sabahat a local fisherman’s wife, who is as comfortable steering a traditional gulet (boat) as she is cooking a Turkish feast or embroidering one of her famous village scarves – which you will learn how to make. After a homemade lunch, Sabahat will take you by boat to visit the ruins of an ancient sunken Lycian city on the northern side of the island. There’s also plenty of opportunities to swim in the crystal turquoise waters, before heading to your simple homestay accommodation.

icon check Day 6 : Antalya

After an early breakfast, we’ll board a local bus and head to Antalya, often considered a highlight of the Turkish Mediterranean. Your hotel is located in the Old City and there’ll be plenty of time to explore the streets and alleys that stretch out from Hadrian’s Gate. Built in honour of the Roman emperor Hadrian, it’s the only remaining entrance gate in the walls that surround the city and harbor. Weather permitting, you can head to the local women’s only beach, Sauisu. Here you’ll find a day spa, complete with a traditional Turkish hamam as well as beauticians, boutiques and cafes all exclusively for women. Alternatively, spend the afternoon exploring more of the winding streets and hidden cafes of the Old City.

icon check Day 7 : Cappadocia

Transfer to Antalya airport this morning for a mid-morning flight to Kayseri, located in the Cappadocia region. From here you’ll take a one-hour drive to Goreme, the most recognisable part of Cappadocia. Goreme lies in a valley 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 local leader. This afternoon you’ll meet a local New Zealand woman who has lived in Goreme for the last 30 years making Turkish carpets. You’ll finish the day with a guided walk around the valley at sunset with spectacular photo opportunities. This evening’s dinner is a special one – you’ll be meeting and dining with a well-known local woman named Nuray Abla, who cooks Turkish cuisine in her cave home.

icon check Day 8 : Cappadocia

If you don’t mind an early start, a hot air balloon ride over the majestic Cappadocian landscape is a highly recommended experience. Please advise your local leader in advance if you want to book it, as it needs to be arranged with one of the certified operators Intrepid Travel recommends. The cost will vary depending on the type of flight chosen, but your local leader will be able to advise you of the options. Once your feet are firmly back on the ground, you’ll head off  to explore the region including, Pigeon valley and Pasabag (monks valley) and wander through the Soganli Valley on a soft hiking trip, taking in the arid surrounds and towering vistas. In the afternoon, you’ll visit one of Cappadoccia’s most famous wine houses for a well-earned drink. Learn about the region's 4,000-year-old wine industry and take a stroll through the stunning Red Valley to watch the sun set, with a glass of local wine in hand, of course. For dinner, you may want to try the local regional specialty, testi kebab. Your leader will be able to recommend a restaurant dedicated to the perfection of this delicious claypot dish.

icon check Day 9 : Eskisehir

Jump on a public bus to Konya this morning and watch the Turkish countryside pass you by on a four-hour drive to the train station. From here, you’ll take a fast train for two and a half hours to the city of Eskisehir (pronounced s-k-shir). Built on the Posuk River, Eskisehir is often called the Venice of Turkey. The vibrant city has two universities, giving it a lively, modern atmosphere – a real contrast from the villages of Cappadocia and the resort towns of the Mediterranean. Not only is it a beautiful looking town, there are plenty of cultural experiences to be had, with nearby ruins dating back to ancient Phrygia, as well as many museums, exhibitions and concerts. For dinner tonight, you might want to head to Adalar, a popular waterfront district with many cafes popular with the locals. Your leader will be able to give you some great recommendations.

icon check Day 10 : Eskisehir

Explore the Odunpazarı district this morning. Traditional Anatolian architecture is well preserved in this neighborhood, with narrow cobbled roads and windy, dead-end streets, and it's now under protection as a historic district. Swing past the Glass museum to check out the first of Turkey's glass art museums many of the exhibits here are used to encourage and display the work of young and upcoming artists. The museum is housed in three historic buildings so the venue is an architectural delight. Today we have a special and unique lunch in Eskisehir as we join in a local “girl’s day out” or (altın günü) known as Gold Day. What’s a gold day, exactly? It’s a day for Turkish women to come together, socialise and save some money for when it’s needed. Banking is a relatively new concept in Turkey, traditionally people borrowed and lent money within a family or social circle and gold was considered a much more valuable commodity then cash. How do you plan a Gold Day? Together with the other people in your gold day group, you decide which person you will visit next it could be on a rotating basis or maybe someone in your group is in need of cash. They can happen weekly or monthly, and often includes between 10 - 50 women. Even some of the most modern of Turkish women still enjoy a Gold Day, so get amongst some Turkish female traditions meeting local women over some good food and some girl only talk. Don’t worry about the gift of gold we have that covered. After a big day out in Eskisehir enjoy a free evening or perhaps hang out with your new Turkish friends.

icon check Day 11 : Istanbul

This morning you’ll board the train and make the two-and-a-half-hour journey back to Istanbul, taking a ferry to the hotel. You’ll finish your adventure with a women’s only hamam. Initially the concept of hamams was for men only, but eventually women who were unwell or recovering from childbirth were permitted, until finally all women were allowed. Traditionally, many women considered a visit to the hamam more than an opportunity to bathe – it was a release from the isolation of home and a place where older women could look for potential wives for their sons. Today this ritual is still a segregated retreat complete with baths, food, music and fun. Later this evening you may want to have a last farewell dinner to celebrate breaking down cultural barriers and building bridges between women around the world.

icon check Day 12 : Istanbul

Today is departure day and check out time is 12.00pm. If you have arranged a private transfer pick up it should arrive four hours prior to your flight departure time, otherwise you can enjoy the rest of your stay in Istanbul.

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

11 Breakfasts, 3 Dinners
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Transport

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

Hotel (10 nights), Pension (1 night)
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Included Activities

  • Istanbul - Turkish Hamam (incl. massage)

Availabilityicon readmoreicon minus

Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
Apr 12, 2020
Apr 23, 2020
$1,545
Available
May 10, 2020
May 21, 2020
$1,545
Available
May 24, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
$1,575
Available
Jun 07, 2020
Jun 18, 2020
$1,545
Available
Sep 06, 2020
Sep 17, 2020
$1,545
Available
Sep 20, 2020
Oct 01, 2020
$1,545
Available
Oct 04, 2020
Oct 15, 2020
$1,545
Available
Oct 18, 2020
Oct 29, 2020
$1,545
Available
Apr 18, 2021
Apr 29, 2021
$1,545
Available
May 09, 2021
May 20, 2021
$1,545
Available
May 23, 2021
Jun 03, 2021
$1,545
Available
Jun 06, 2021
Jun 17, 2021
$1,545
Available
Sep 05, 2021
Sep 16, 2021
$1,545
Available
Sep 19, 2021
Sep 30, 2021
$1,545
Available
Oct 03, 2021
Oct 14, 2021
$1,545
Available
Oct 17, 2021
Oct 28, 2021
$1,545
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Centrum Hotel Istanbul

İbni Kemal Cad. Hotel Centrum İstanbul No:14, Fatih/İstanbul

Istanbul

34080

TURKEY

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Centrum Hotel

Hoca Paşa Mh. İbni Kemal Caddesi No:28

Istanbul

34080

TURKEY

Phone: 0212 513 3570

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT

A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 5 (Kekova Pension) where you will be in shared accommodation, and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

INCLUDED FLIGHTS 

This trip includes two internal flights.  Checked in luggage is restricted to 15kg with 8kg for hand luggage.  It is possible to store luggage at the starting and ending point hotel.

ITINERARY

1. Ladies Beach in Antalya Day 6 is open during the summer months and the facility may not open if the weather is not suitable for beach time.  

2.  Gold Day in Eskisehir on Day 11 may vary in time, duration and and number of participants depending on groups programme.

TURKEY

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

icon readmoreicon minusGroup 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.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: www.intrepidtravel.com/safety

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES: Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.

SAFETY IN TURKEY: We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before your departure and that you ensure your travel insurance covers you for all areas in your itinerary. We have links to all major travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting your trip on our safety page (link above). The safety of our travellers and staff is our first priority. We continue to monitor the situation through official travel advisories and our local operations team, and we’re able to quickly change arrangements if for any reason we become concerned. If there should be any changes to the situation you will be advised immediately. Whilst travelling in Istanbul before, after or during your tour we would recommend avoiding crowded areas like Taksim Square, Galatasaray and Kadikoy Meydan after 6.00pm especially on a weekend. If using public transport in the city please refer to http://www.iett.gov.tr/en for the latest updates and announcements.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

PASSPORT

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends.

VISAS

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

TURKEY:

Australia: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

Belgium: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

Canada: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

Germany: No - not required

Ireland: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

Netherlands: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

New Zealand: No - not required

South Africa: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

Switzerland: No - not required

United Kingdom: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

USA: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Turkey. Visas must be obtained through the e-Visa system. To apply for an e-visa, please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at least two weeks before you arrive in Turkey. This multiple entry e-Visa costs USD60 as is valid for 90 days. Please note, visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region.

Some countries do not require a visa at all. This includes passport holders from New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to three months. We recommend all nationalities check with their local consulate o embassy as this information can change.

Entry Requirements – Passport Validity:

Foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa.

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

Spend an afternoon with female Syrian refugees and hear how they’re rebuilding their lives over lunch and an earring-making workshop.

Make the perfect cup of Turkish coffee at a family home in Istanbul and learn how to read your fortune in the coffee grounds.

Spend a day at sea with a female skipper where you’ll visit a sunken city, swim in crystal clear waters and spend the night in an idyllic seaside village.

Enjoy a traditional meal in a Cappadocian cave home, cooked by a local woman who is changing the face of women in tourism.

Take part in ‘Gold Day’ in Eskisehir, a local event that’s strictly for women and where all the secret women’s business happens in Turkey.

Relax in an Ottoman Style hamam and learn about this ancient women’s ritual.

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This trip includes two internal flights so that you can spend more time enjoying Turkey and less time travelling. However, this means for these sections of your adventure you’ll only be able to take 15 kilograms of checked baggage and 8 kilograms of cabin baggage with you. Don’t worry, you can store any excess luggage at the starting point hotel in Istanbul.

Some activities, like the women’s beach visit and boat tour, are weather dependent and in the unlikely event of rain alternative activities will be provided.

This trip uses a mix of transport options including public buses. Buses in Turkey are comfortable and modern, and it is a great way to mix with the locals and understand local life.

It can get hot in Turkey from May to October and some of the more traditional hotels will not have air-conditioning. Evening temperatures are usually very pleasant and an open window with a breeze should do the trick.

This is an expedition trip and is new to our range this year. Despite rigorous planning and research, new itineraries can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a welcome surprise, but every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

While we would love to open up these unique experiences to all our travellers regardless of gender, it’s simply not yet possible to do so while operating in a socially responsible and culturally sensitive manner. If you're interested in travelling to Turkey on a similar itinerary, check out some of other itineraries or consider booking a private group tour.

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

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.

icon readmoreicon minusFood 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.

icon readmoreicon minusMoney 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.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, 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

icon readmoreicon minusClimate 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 2020

In 2020, the important month of Ramadan or Ramzan in Turkey will be in progress from 23 April through until 23 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.

icon readmoreicon minusA 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.

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After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

icon readmoreicon minusEmergency 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

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

icon readmoreicon minusYour 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.

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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, and may be on a join-in basis. 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.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Hotel (10 nights),Pension (1 night)

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