Premium Turkey & the Caucasus
from $10955
Duration: 29 Days
Immerse yourself in four unforgettable countries wrapped up in stories on a 29-day Premium journey. Go deep into the ancient heart of fascinating Turkey, then continue to the vibrant green hillsides and majestic snow-capped mountains of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Explore lands where the walls hold the weight of centuries of rich history and where ancient traditions mingle with modern influences. Journey through forests and past towering peaks to find medieval mosques and villages. Travel with expert local leaders, make local friends along the way and discover there’s so much more to each destination than what meets the eye.
  • Get to the heart of Turkey and the Caucasus’s capitals with experienced local leaders – enjoy guided city tours, stroll the ancient streets of Ephesus, uncover the secrets of Troy, marvel at Baku’s diverse architecture, explore Tbilisi’s winding narrow streets, and uncover the history of ancient Yerevan.
  • Experience the region’s diverse cuisine, from learning traditional yoghurt making methods in Shamakhi to home cooked meals in Cappadocia and Kakheti, freshly prepared lunch on board a boat cruise in Kas, and a lunch of regional specialties in a refugee settlement in Tserovani.
  • Visit the Tserovani Refugee Settlement in Georgia where you will visit a jewellery making workshop aimed at providing employment to displaced women within the camp, create a piece yourself and learn about the issues surrounding long-term displacement.
  • Enjoy feature stays in Cappadocia, with elegantly decorated rooms carved from stone, and at the foot of the Tsiv-Gombori mountains, with unforgettable views of the Alazani Valley.
  • Discovery ancient wonders and otherworldly sights, from the Cotton Castle of Pamukkale and psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia to the open-air archaeological museum of Qobustan in Azerbaijan and the magnificent cave town of Vardzia in Georgia.
  • Istanbul - City Tour
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
  • Istanbul - Welcome Dinner
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Gallipoli - Anzac Cove, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair
  • Troy - Archaeological site visit
  • Selcuk - Cooking class
  • Selcuk - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
  • Sirince - Fruit wine tasting
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis and Travertines National Park
  • Kayakoy - Village visit
  • Kas - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Kas - Sailing trip with seafood lunch
  • Sagalassos - Archaeological site visit
  • Antalya - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
  • Cappadocia - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Cappadocia - Sunset drinks
  • Day 1 Location: Istanbul
    Welcome to Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have all once called home. Enjoy a complimentary transfer to your hotel from the airport. You’re never far from a great meal in Istanbul, so if you arrive early be sure to grab some lunch at one of the city’s many eateries. Your Intrepid Premium adventure then begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. After the meeting, head out with your Intrepid local leader and small group to explore the Old City of Istanbul. Your knowledgeable leader will introduce you to some of the historical treasures of the city, including the dazzling Blue Mosque, the ancient Hippodrome, and the Million - a stone road marker in use since the fourth century. This evening get to know your fellow travellers over dinner at a stylish restaurant where local delicacies are paired with panoramic views of the Bosphorus.
    Day 2 Location: Canakkale
    Rise and shine for an early breakfast, then begin the drive to Çanakkale, a port city located on the shores of the Dardanelles. Arrive in time to buy yourself some lunch, then head to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Thousands from across the world make the journey here each year to pay respect to those who lost their lives in the battles of 1915. Tour the former battlefields and find remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Head up to the memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair while your leader explains the significance of the events that took place across the landscape. Look down upon the rough hills and gullies that became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men on both sides. After a day that will no doubt be full of sombre reflection, the evening is free for you to do as you wish in Canakkale.
    Day 3 Location: Selcuk
    Drive to Selcuk with a stop en route in Troy, where history and mythology sit side by side. Your leader will take you around the ancient city walls, and there will be time for a photo op with a replica Trojan horse. Learn how the site has confounded historians and archaeologists, then continue to Selcuk. This afternoon you’re in for an extraordinary treat - meet a local chef (who has appeared on the BBC!) for a Turkish cooking class, using olive oil grown and made on site as well as herbs and vegetables picked fresh from the garden. If you’re just eating Turkish food in restaurants, you’re only getting half the story. Learn how to make a range of small meze dishes using seasonal ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labour as this evening’s dinner will be the mouth-watering meze plates you’ve made together.
    Day 4 Location: Selcuk
    This morning join your leader for an orientation walk around Selcuk, a sprawling town lying at the base of the ancient Aysoluk Hill fortress. Visit the last remaining column of the Temple of Artemis, the ancient aqueducts and the 14th-century Isabey Mosque. In the afternoon, visit one of the best-preserved classical cities in the eastern Mediterranean and arguably the greatest Greco-Roman site in the world – Ephesus. Learn from your leader what life here was like as you tour the amphitheatre, stroll the marble streets once walked by Cleopatra and Mark Antony and marvel at the gymnasium, baths and restored Library of Celsus. Later, drive past apple and peach orchards to the quaint village of Sirence, where charming red-roofed houses clamber up the hillside. Drop by a local wine house where you’ll enjoy a tasting of the locally produced fruit wines. Try a sip of kiwi, pear, peach, quince or all of the above!
    Day 5 Location: Pamukkale
    After breakfast this morning, travel to the town of Pamukkale. Named after its incredible travertine terraces, Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish. This magical and spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming a collection of pools and terraces. As the water overflows, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites are formed that, from afar, resemble cotton or snow. The pools are filled with waters that many believe have healing properties for circulation and the digestive system. But that’s not all this site has to offer - head up to the ruins of Hierapolis, an important Roman bath centre founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC, where your leader will bring history to life and guide you through an ancient temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica, necropolis and an impressive theatre. Enjoy a free evening in Pamukkale.
    Day 6 Location: Kas
    Make the journey to the coast, with a stop en route at the ghost village of Kayakoy. Abandoned after WWI and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, this once-thriving village now lies as a sombre reminder of the human cost of war and politics. Spend some time on the eerie streets, then continue to Kas (which means eyebrow in Turkish) and begin exploring on a walking tour. Now primarily a holiday town, Kas is strewn with the remains of Lycian tombs, iconic white-washed walls covered with climbing bougainvillea and an ancient theatre where you can watch a spectacular sunset. The walk is sure to inspire your appetite and your leader will be on hand to show you where to grab a great gozleme (stuffed Turkish flatbread). The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy this easy-going town, perhaps sit back with a pomegranate cocktail or check out the local markets.
    Day 7 Location: Kas
    Set off for an experience like no other - a magical boat cruise around the islands with two local guides, Mehmet and Sebahat. The married couple use their special knowledge and love of the local waters to share a distinctly traditional way of cruising and eating with travellers. Cruise to their home village of Ucagiz, then on to the village of Simena, where its friendly inhabitants sell ice cream in front of bougainvillea covered houses. On board you’ll enjoy a range of freshly prepared local greens, zucchini fritters and maybe even some Turkish raki. Sail from large bays to protected inlets where you can cool off with a swim in turquoise waters. Kick back with a cold beer or learn how to play backgammon, Turkey’s most beloved game. Look out for the ruins of an ancient city submerged under the clear water. Return to Kas for an evening at your leisure.
    Day 8 Location: Antalya
    Travel from Kas to a lesser-known treasure - the archaeological site of Sagalassos. Set on the slopes of the Taurus mountains, the views from the site certainly deserve attention, but the ancient ruins are even more memorable. Enjoy a guided visit through agoras, a Roman bath complex, an intricately decorated fountain and a theatre, and learn what life looked like set against this remarkable backdrop. If time permits, you may have the chance to visit a workshop where local women have revived traditional tile-making techniques. Continue on a scenic drive to Antalya. Your accommodation is tucked away in Kaleici (the Old City) so settle in on arrival and then head out on an early evening walk to see Hadrians Gate, the Old Roman Harbour and plenty of photo-worthy views. Soak up the city’s Mediterranean atmosphere and attitude over a fresh seafood dinner – your leader can recommend some superb spots for eating.
    Day 9 Location: Antalya
    Wake up in beautiful Antalya and start your day with a guided visit though the Antalya Museum. The province of Antalya includes dozens of important ancient Hellenistic and Roman cities, and some of the best artefacts are on display in the museum’s 13 exhibition halls and open-air gallery. Your afternoon is free to spend as you wish. Maybe wander the narrow cobblestoned streets of Kaleici with an ice cream in hand, beat the heat with a dip in the sea, chill out poolside or take an optional visit to the ancient cities of Side, Perge or Apsendos. Be sure to speak to your leader for details on these optional activities.
    Day 10 Location: Konya
    Say goodbye to Antalya and take a morning drive to Konya, an ancient city important in the Roman era where the Sufi practice of 'whirling' was born. On arrival, discover the mystic resting place of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, the 13th-century mystic, poet and theologian whose teachings continue to inspire and influence Muslims around the world. Visit the small museum dedicated to his life and work. The rest of the day is free for you to get to know the city. Konya offers up a wealth of museums, mosques and monuments worth visiting so be sure to ask your leader for recommendations. For a leisurely afternoon, head to Alaeddin Hill, where locals sip coffee, eat pastries and let the hours slip calmly by.
    Day 11 Location: Cappadocia
    Depart from Konya and travel to Cappadocia, where on arrival your leader will take you on an orientation walk to get to know your new otherworldly surroundings. Check in to your feature stay accommodation and discover something truly special. Feel miles away from the modern world in a cave hotel that looks like a page straight out of a fairy tale. Uniquely beautiful rooms are carved into stone and feature elegant décor with modern conveniences. The rooftop terrace boasts one in a million views of Cappadocia’s incredible landscape and basalt chimneys – keep an eye out for hot air balloons passing overhead. Head out for a drink with a view and watch the sun set over one of the world’s most enchanting places. The rest of the evening is free for you to take it all in, or perhaps watch a performance of whirling by local Dervishes in a restored han (caravansary).
    Day 12 Location: Cappadocia
    Early birds have the option of taking a hot air balloon over the ethereal Cappadocian landscape. The scene at sunrise is sure to take your breath away. After a relaxing breakfast overlooking the valley, step back in time with a visit to the Goreme Open Air Museum. See the incredible houses, churches and monasteries carved out of the soft cliff face as your leader shares stories of the civilisations who lived here. Next up visit a carpet weaving co-operative that empowers women by giving them the tools to produce one-of-a-kind traditional rugs. Hear local insight on the history of traditional carpet weaving and see how the intricate pieces are made. Later in the afternoon, go on a short walk through the cheekily named 'Love Valley' which is famous for its phallic rock formations. Then head back to your hotel in Goreme. Perhaps take an optional Turkish bath to unwind at the end of the day.
    Day 13 Location: Cappadocia
    Take a morning walk to see the fascinating rock formations of the Kizilcukur valley. After lunch, head toward the red river of Avanos and descend to Ozkonak, where you’ll explore an underground city hollowed out of tufa rock that dates back to 400 BC. Return to the surface and visit the studio of a local ceramic master whose family have been in the pottery business for six generations. Speak with a local artist who will explain the history and techniques of traditional Turkish ceramics. Discover the rich clay from the red river and watch how it is moulded into exquisite pieces. This evening you’ll be warmly welcomed into the cave home of Nuray, a local woman who will prepare a special home-cooked dinner for your group. Sit down to a feast made with passion, enjoy a friendly chat with your affable host and perhaps top off the night with some Turkish delight.
    Day 14 Location: Istanbul
    This morning say goodbye to Cappadocia and return to where it all began - Istanbul. On arrival in Istanbul you may wish to join your leader for a trip across the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city. Here you’ll find lively, close-knit communities and jumbles of cute cafes, markets and restaurants. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore some more of the charms of this enthralling city. This evening consider rounding off the Turkish part of your adventure by joining your group and leader for an optional dinner at one of Istanbul’s excellent waterfront restaurants.
    Day 15 Location: Baku
    Today you will leave Turkey behind and catch a flight to Baku in Azerbaijan, a city where old meets new and ancient fortified buildings stand next to Russian imperial-style squares and ultra-modern architectural wonders. On arrival at Baku Airport, you'll be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. A meeting will take place here at 6pm to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your journey. After your meeting, enjoy a local dinner with your leader and small group. In Azerbaijan, sharing bread is thought to seal a bond of friendship, so perhaps break some bread with your new travel companions.
    Day 16 Location: Baku
    This morning, embark on a tour of the city with a local guide. Pay a visit to the fortified Old City, once the Medieval capital, where your guide will weave together the history of Baku, from the rule of the Shirvanshahs to the cosmopolitan city you see today. Stop by the Shemakha Gate, Maiden Tower (visit optional), Caravanserai, Old Market Square and end outside the Palace of the Shirvanshahs. Be sure to bring your camera as there will be some panoramic views of Baku's varied skyline to enjoy. The rest of the day is free to explore – perhaps enter the Palace of the Shirvanshahs to uncover more of its history, or visit the much-loved carpet museum.
    Day 17 Location: Absheron Peninsula / Qobustan / Baku
    This morning, head out of the city on a day trip to the Absheron Peninsula and Qobustan. Visit the Ateshgah Fire Temple, Mardakan Medieval Fortress and the eternally burning Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain). Continue to Qobustan, located around 60 kilometres south of Baku. Stop off along the way to view old oil rigs and learn how Azerbaijan was one of the birthplaces of the oil industry. On arrival to Qobustan National Park, visit one of the world's largest open-air archaeological museums where a local guide will share the stories of ancient rock art dating back some 40,000 years. The prehistoric carvings depict scenes of hunting, fishing and gathering. Return to Baku in the afternoon. This evening you may like to take a walk along the waterfront to find a restaurant for dinner, keeping an eye out for the Baku Eye and Flame Towers that light up the city skyline at night.
    Day 18 Location: Shamaki / Sheki
    Leave Baku and head for the Caucasus Mountains in the northwest of Azerbaijan. Watch arid landscapes slowly give way to densely forested mountains. En route to Sheki, there will be stops at Diri Baba Mausoleum in Maraza (subject to renovations completed), the Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum, and the Juma Mosque in Shamakhi. Make a special stop to visit a family to learn traditional yoghurt making methods and enjoy some local snacks. On arrival in Sheki, visit a local craft workshop where the famous shebeke – stained-glass windows with intricately carved frames – are made by hand. You will also visit the acclaimed Palace of Shaki Khans to see its magnificent frescoes and stained glass. Arrive in Sheki and enjoy a final evening of Azerbaijani cuisine during an included dinner at a local restaurant.
    Day 19 Location: Sheki / Kakheti Region / Telavi
    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and visit the local Sheki bazaar before driving to Lagodeckhi – a town at the Azerbaijan–Georgia border – where you will change transportation. From here, travel to Georgia's Kakheti region, known for its winemaking. There will be a visit to the Gremi Architectural Complex and its museum, followed by a wonderful lunch with a local family, which includes delicious homemade cuisine, wine and chacha, a local brandy. Discover the importance of bread in the Georgian diet and learn how they bake this staple. There will also be time to listen to unique Georgian polyphonic songs – a traditional style of music prevalent in the Kakheti region. Afterwards, travel to your feature stay accommodation in Telavi. Tucked into the foothills of the Tsiv-Gombori mountains, the Savaneti Hotel offers a chic aesthetic in a serene location. Enjoy a lovely swimming pool, a marvellous on-site restaurant and unbeatable views of the Alazani Valley and Caucasus mountains.
    Day 20 Location: Sighnaghi / Tbilisi
    Following breakfast, journey to the beautiful 18th-century town of Sighnaghi, known for its quaint stone walls, small houses with terracotta roofs and decorated balconies. Here you will meet with an expert local guide who will explain the history of the intriguing town. After some time to admire the picturesque views of Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus Mountains, drive to Tbilisi with your leader and local guide. Once arrived perhaps wander the old districts of Georgia’s capital, which are structured like terraces, and walk through the narrow streets to appreciate the colourful houses, patterned balconies and revamped modern architecture. Enjoy a free afternoon – your leader will have some wonderful recommendations for local restaurants to head for dinner.
    Day 21 Location: Tbilisi
    This morning uncover the secrets of the city on a walking tour with your local guide, beginning from the 13th-century Metekhi Church, which offers magnificent views over old Tbilisi. You will take a cable car to the ancient Narikala Fortress, a former Persian citadel with a history stretching back to the 4th century. Here your guide will share the layered history of the fortress while you take in sweeping views across Tbilisi. Then make your way to a historic part of the city where you will learn a little more about Tbilisi’s past. The name Tbilisi translates to ‘warm place’ which is thought to be after the bubbling hot springs that the city was built around. This afternoon you may like to visit one of the local bathhouses for a dip in the therapeutic waters, or perhaps visit the stunning treasury of the Golden Fund at the Natural History Museum (closed on Mondays), where you’ll learn why Georgia is called the land of the Golden Fleece.
    Day 22 Location: Mtskheta / Tserovani / Borjomi
    Today meet with a local guide for a visit to Mtskheta, the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia. Visit World Heritage-listed sites with your local guide on hand to share their fascinating histories, such as the 6th-century Jvari Monastery and the impressive Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the Robe of Christ is purported to be buried. Afterwards, pay a visit to the Tserovani Refugee Settlement, home to 8000 people displaced by the 2008 conflict between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Georgia over South Ossetia. While here you will visit an enamel jewellery workshop – a social enterprise offering training and employment to displaced youth and women within the camp. You will have the chance to meet the jewellery artists whose pieces tell the story of Georgia, and with their guidance, you will design a piece yourself. Stop for a light lunch of Georgian specialties then tour the settlement to learn about the issues surrounding long-term displacement faced by thousands of Georgia’s citizens to this day. This inspiring experience sheds light on a side of the country that few visitors get to see, and is sure to be one of your lasting memories of your time in Georgia. In the afternoon, drive to the south-western part of Georgia and visit Borjomi Spa Town, famous for its naturally fizzy mineral water. Stay overnight in another feature stay, located in the former residence of the Iranian consul, a building with almost 130 years of history.
    Day 23 Location: Vardzia / Akhaltsikhe / Borjomi
    Today, drive to the magnificent and once mighty cave city of Vardzia, with a stop en route at the 10th-century Khertvisi Fortress. Vardzia stretches over half a kilometre along the river Mtkvari and has 19 tiers of winding cobbled streets. There is a church hewn out in rock with amazing 12th-century frescos, and the complex also includes dwellings quarters, small hall-type churches, refectories and wine cellars. You will tour the site with a local guide who will provide historical context and explain the rise and fall of this magical city, which now serves as a working monastery. In the afternoon, stop by the city of Akhaltsikhe and visit the multicultural complex of Rabat (closed on Mondays). Head back to Borjomi and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. As you’ll have discovered by now, eating in Georgia is a truly joyous occasion. At tonight’s included dinner, perhaps ask your leader to recommend the tastiest local dishes. You may like to try some khinkali, which are spicy dumplings, or chakapuli, a herby and flavoursome stew.
    Day 24 Location: Uplistsikhe / Gudauri
    In the morning visit the town of Gori, home to the historic Uplistsikhe Cave Town. Explore Uplistsikhe with an expert local guide. Once a stop on the Great Silk Road, your guide will lead you around this fascinating complex with dwelling quarters, wine cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even a theatre! Gori was the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, so you may like to pay a visit to the Stalin museum while here. Afterwards, drive up the renowned Georgian Military Highway, which eventually leads to the Georgia–Russia border. On the way, you'll visit the Ananuri architectural complex – two churches and a fortress that overlook the Zhinvali water reservoir. Your leader will explain how the carvings on the churches are some of the best surviving examples of Georgian art. Take a scenic drive through the Caucasus Mountains, and arrive at your hotel in Gudauri. Enjoy an included dinner at a fantastic local restaurant.
    Day 25 Location: Caucasus Mountains / Stepantsminda / Gudauri
    Enjoy a stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River before arriving in Kazbegi. From here, head into the heart of the Caucasus Mountains and take the mountain road to Gergeti Trinity Church, located at 2170 metres above sea level. Weather depending, you may catch a glimpse of Mt Kazbegi – one of the highest glaciers in the Caucasus. Better yet, it may be possible to return part of the way by cable car – your driver can you drop you at the station in Kobi and you can travel the 7.5 kilometres to Gudauri in a gondola for a bird’s eye view of this landscape. Return to Gudauri this afternoon for time to relax in your hotel. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the mountain air and views. Your hotel has many facilities including a bowling alley and a wellness centre.
    Day 26 Location: Haghpat / Dilijan
    Enjoy a final breakfast in Gudauri before driving to Sadakhlo – a village at the Georgia–Armenia border. Here, your group will change transportation. Begin the Armenian leg of your adventure with a visit to Haghpat Monastery, listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Haghpat stands as an example of one of the most outstanding works of medieval Armenian architecture – your leader will give you an introduction to the country’s history and design. Continue on to the picturesque resort town of Dilijan where you will spend the evening, often referred to as the ‘Little Switzerland of Armenia’. Dilijan's central Sharambeyan Street has been preserved and maintained as a charming old town, complete with craftsman’s workshops, a gallery and a museum.
    Day 27 Location: Lake Sevan / Garni / Geghard / Yerevan
    After breakfast, drive to the reflective waters of Lake Sevan, nicknamed ‘The Pearl of Armenia’. Sevan is one of the largest fresh-water high-altitude lakes in the world. Visit Sevanavank Monastery, which overlooks the water on the Peninsula. Move on to the village of Garni to visit the first century Garni Temple, where your leader will explain how it was built by the Armenian King Tiridates and dedicated to Mithra, the God of the Sun. Be treated to a special local performance in the temple and hear the magnificent sounds of the Duduk – a flute-like instrument originating to Armenia, and currently listed on the UNESCO in-tangible Cultural Heritage List. Travel northeast of Garni, higher up the gorge of the Azat River, to the magnificent Geghard Monastery. This World Heritage-listed site is partly carved out of a mountain and surrounded by cliffs. In the afternoon, drive to Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, where you will spend the next two evenings.
    Day 28 Location: Yerevan
    This morning your local guide will introduce you to the sights and sounds of Yerevan on a tour of the city. Established in 782 BC, Armenia’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world. Nowadays, the city’s liveliness comes from its ancient culture mixed with a modern lifestyle. Visit the Matenadaran – home to ancient manuscripts that contain historical documents from all over Europe and Asia. The building also holds the first copy of the Bible in Armenian. Swing past the fruit market to watch the locals going about their business, then enjoy a free afternoon. Tonight, join your group for a final dinner at a local restaurant. Armenian cuisine is built on a foundation of fresh local produce and meat. Perhaps try some khorovats, a barbecued kebab, or spas, a refreshing yoghurt soup.
    Day 29 Location: Yerevan
    Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would like to spend some more time in Yerevan, we would be happy to arrange additional accommodation ahead of time (subject to availability).
    Dates
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    Departure Date:
    03APR2022
    Return Date:
    01MAY2022
    10955NZD
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    17APR2022
    Return Date:
    15MAY2022
    10955NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    24APR2022
    Return Date:
    22MAY2022
    10955NZD
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    Departure Date:
    28APR2022
    Return Date:
    26MAY2022
    11395NZD
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    Departure Date:
    01MAY2022
    Return Date:
    29MAY2022
    11830NZD
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    Departure Date:
    08MAY2022
    Return Date:
    05JUN2022
    11830NZD
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    15MAY2022
    Return Date:
    12JUN2022
    11830NZD
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    Departure Date:
    22MAY2022
    Return Date:
    19JUN2022
    11830NZD
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    Departure Date:
    29MAY2022
    Return Date:
    26JUN2022
    11395NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05JUN2022
    Return Date:
    03JUL2022
    11395NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Premium Turkey & the Caucasus

    Trip code

    ERPCC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2022 to 31 Dec 2022

    Introduction

    Immerse yourself in four unforgettable countries wrapped up in stories on a 29-day Premium journey. Go deep into the ancient heart of fascinating Turkey, then continue to the vibrant green hillsides and majestic snow-capped mountains of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. Explore lands where the walls hold the weight of centuries of rich history and where ancient traditions mingle with modern influences. Journey through forests and past towering peaks to find medieval mosques and villages. Travel with expert local leaders, make local friends along the way and discover there’s so much more to each destination than what meets the eye.

    Style

    Premium

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Private vehicle,Boat,Plane

    Physical Rating

    3

    Joining point

    Legacy Ottoman Hotel

    Hobyar Mahallesi Hamidiye Cd. No:16

    Fatih / Sirkeci

    Istanbul

    TURKEY

    Phone: +90 2125276767

    Finish point

    Ani Plaza Hotel

    19 Sayat-Nova Ave

    Yerevan

    ARMENIA

    Phone: +374 10589500

    Important information

    1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel. 2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. There are a limited number of single supplements available per trip departure. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 

    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. Premium leaders are Intrepid’s most experienced, with in-depth knowledge and extensive local networks to make it a trip of a lifetime. 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. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. When not already included in your trip, your leader will be able to recommend a local guide service who can share more detailed or specialised information at specific sites should you be interested in delving deeper.

    Safety

    Most national governments provide regularly updated foreign travel advice 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 destinations and activities on your trip. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your 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 or relax and take it easy. 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. Intrepid's operational safety policies can be viewed on our website at the link below. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how safety is being managed on our trips.

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-guidelines

    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.

    PETTY THEFT AND 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 alone at night and encourage you to walk together 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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    Visas

    PASSPORT You will need a valid passport to travel internationally. As a general rule, most countries require that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets exactly and contact us immediately if there are any errors. We recommend taking copies of the main passport pages and other important documents with you as well as leave copies at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time. It is important that you check your government's foreign travel advisories along with the consular website of the country or countries you are travelling to for the most up to date information specific to your nationality and circumstances. Please be aware that not all visa information found online from other sources may be valid while COVID-19 restrictions are in place. Visas can take several weeks to process, so make sure you research the requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for obtaining any necessary documents as well as the application and processing time. Your booking consultant can advise on a visa processing service or you can apply yourself directly through a consulate. COVID-19 Entry and Exit Requirements Below you will find general visa advice about the destinations on your trip. Due to constantly evolving COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.You may also refer to our travel alert page for more info https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/travel-alerts Make sure you are familiar with the current border measures and entry requirements as these are quite complex and changing frequently without notice. Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers your travels as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country. RETURN TRAVEL Please ensure you stay up to date with any current testing or quarantine requirements for returning to your home country or transiting through other destinations after the completion of your tour. We are able to help facilitate taking a COVID-19 test while on trip. Please ensure you have funds available to cover the cost of this test which will be payable directly to the testing site. Your Intrepid Tour Leader will provide more details at the group meeting as well as assist with booking appointments for all travellers who need to be tested. TURKEY VISA 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. Passport holders from New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland do not require a visa for stays up to three months. We recommend all nationalities check with their local consulate for current visa requirements TURKEY COVID-19 ENTRY & EXIT REQUIREMENTS For the latest update of what is required in order to enter Turkey, please check your government's foreign travel advice and keep monitoring for any potential changes as they may change without notice. All passengers arriving in Turkey (except the transit passengers) at the moment are required to fill out “Travel Entry Form” at “http://register.health.gov.tr” within the last 72 hours before their flights. GEORGIA VISA: Most nationalities do not currently require a visa for Georgia, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, UK, USA & all EU member states for stays of up to 30 days. The full list of countries and terms can be found on the official Ministry of Foreign Affairs website - https://www.geoconsul.gov.ge/en/visaInformation ARMENIA VISA: Many countries including Australia, New Zealand, UK and the USA are no longer required to obtain a visa for visits to Armenia up to 180 days in duration. Nationalities requiring a visa to enter Armenia are listed in the drop down menu on the following link and subsequent application for  E-Visas are available.  https://evisa.mfa.am/check-eligibility Please use the address of your finishing point hotel for the Contact Information in Armenia. You will need to upload a scanned passport sized photo and a passport copy to complete your application. In the case that the website is down, it may be possible to obtain a visa on arrival at the land border. Please check http://www.mfa.am/en/visa/ for the list of nationalities that are allowed to apply visa on arrival.

    Why we love it

    Get to the heart of Turkey and the Caucasus’s capitals with experienced local leaders – enjoy guided city tours, stroll the ancient streets of Ephesus, uncover the secrets of Troy, marvel at Baku’s diverse architecture, explore Tbilisi’s winding narrow streets, and uncover the history of ancient Yerevan.

    Experience the region’s diverse cuisine, from learning traditional yoghurt making methods in Shamakhi to home cooked meals in Cappadocia and Kakheti, freshly prepared lunch on board a boat cruise in Kas, and a lunch of regional specialties in a refugee settlement in Tserovani.

    Visit the Tserovani Refugee Settlement in Georgia where you will visit a jewellery making workshop aimed at providing employment to displaced women within the camp, create a piece yourself and learn about the issues surrounding long-term displacement.

    Enjoy feature stays in Cappadocia, with elegantly decorated rooms carved from stone, and at the foot of the Tsiv-Gombori mountains, with unforgettable views of the Alazani Valley.

    Discovery ancient wonders and otherworldly sights, from the Cotton Castle of Pamukkale and psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia to the open-air archaeological museum of Qobustan in Azerbaijan and the magnificent cave town of Vardzia in Georgia.

    Is this trip right for you

    There are a couple of long drives on this trip, in particular on Days 6, 18, 20 and 26. These journeys are by private vehicle and although they may be a little tiring, they're a great chance to sit back and enjoy the passing scenery and chat to your fellow travellers. Some activities in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, are weather and road condition dependent. For example, the trip to the high Caucasus around Kazbegi. Your leader will keep you up to date on any necessary itinerary changes due to local conditions.

    Health

    GENERAL 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 manage and enjoy 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 before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. COVID-19 The safety and wellbeing of our travellers, leaders, crew, staff, and suppliers continues to remain our highest priority as we travel. You can read more about how we will keep you safe on our trips, including our COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safe-travels HEALTH SCREENING If you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements. At the group meeting, you will be asked to complete a self-screening health form and report any COVID-19 symptoms as well as any close contact with someone who has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you are displaying any symptoms or have any health concerns at this time, we will follow the advice of local health authorities to determine whether medical assistance, isolation or further action is required. We ask all travellers to continue to monitor their health throughout their travels and report any relevant symptoms to their tour leader. TESTING & VACCINATION POLICY From 1st May 2021 we introduced new safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia and New Zealand. On trips departing before 1st September 2021, you will need to show one of the below to your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or - Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip, or - Proof of recovery documentation In addition, if you’re aged 70+ or have an existing health condition that puts you at a higher risk of serious COVID-19 disease, you are also required to provide proof of vaccination before you can join a trip. MANDATORY VACCINATION POLICY From 1st of September 2021 we have introduced enhanced safety measures that apply on all of our trips, except for tours in Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands. You will need to show your leader at the Group Meeting on Day 1 of your trip: - Proof of COVID-19 vaccination This policy is in addition to any specific testing or vaccination requirements for entry or exit to a destination or required by your airline. For more information, including a detailed FAQ about this policy, please visit https://www.intrepidtravel.com/covid19 DRINKING WATER: As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have 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. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. ALTITUDE SICKNESS: Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor. During your trip. While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. If you have dietary requirements and/or food allergies, please let your booking agent know prior to departure. While we will endeavour to cater to dietary requirements where possible, please note that many meals and food activities on Real Food Adventures are set in advance in order to deliver a well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. In many countries, dietary restrictions are uncommon and not well understood. If you have dietary requirements and are concerned about whether this may impact on your ability to participate fully in all food-related activities on this trip, please speak with your booking agent so it can be determined whether your dietary requirements can be met.

    Money matters

    TIPPING Tips are included on all Intrepid Premium trips, covering hotel staff, local guides and the people who will take care of you during your travels. This amount does not include a tip for your leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your leader for outstanding service provided during your trip. You are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length and involvement of your leader on your trip. Tips are greatly appreciated as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however, as a guideline, US$3-6 per person (in a currency relevant for your destination), per day can be used. SPENDING MONEY When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget an appropriate amount for things like optional meals, drinks, shopping, optional activities, and laundry. Make sure you have read the itinerary and inclusions thoroughly so you know what is included in the trip price and what you may need to pay for while travelling. CONTINGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. We reserve the right to change an itinerary after departure due to local circumstances or a Force Majeure Event. In such emergency circumstances, the additional cost of any necessary itinerary alterations will be covered by you. Please note we are not responsible for any incidental expenses that may be incurred as a result of the change of itineraries including but not limited to visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights. Make sure you have access to an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last-minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result, there may be some extra costs involved. The recommended amount is listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however, local currency may be needed once in the country to cover these costs. TURKEY: The Official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Most goods and services can be paid for using the local currency. The EUR and USD are also accepted. For the supply of everyday services like meals and general shopping we recommend the local currency. ATMs are widely available in all major towns and cities throughout Turkey. Credit cards can generally be used in tourist shops and restaurants, but smaller venues take cash only. GEORGIA Although prices are often quoted in shops in USD and EUR, according to Georgian law all goods and services should be paid for in local currency (Georgian Lari). Credit cards are widely used in Tbilisi, but less so in the regions. ATMs can be found in major towns. ARMENIA Cash can be changed at banks and in exchange bureaux. Credit cards and debit cards are accepted at major stores and restaurants in Yerevan, but far less so outside the capital. Prices for goods and services are sometimes quoted in US dollars, but by law payment must be made in Armenian Dram.

    What 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. We recommend you pack as lightly as possible, ensuring 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. Help will be on hand in most locations, but there may be times you need to handle your own luggage, for example in airports and train stations. A lockable suitcase with wheels is ideal for this trip. It is recommended that you keep your main luggage weight around 15kg and certainly no more than 20kg. A small or medium-sized backpack (45-50 litres) is another good option. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, jacket, etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below is a link to our ultimate packing list, a guide to get you started:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list

    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, very dry, hot summers and very cold winters. Istanbul and coastal centres can experience very high humidity. Winter (November to February) 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 02 April - 01 May 2022 and 22 March - 20 April 2023, 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. WEATHER Spring and autumn are the best times to visit the Caucasus. Summers (especially July and August) can be very hot and humid with temperatures reaching up to 40 degrees Celsius. This is a great time to escape to the coast or the mountains to cool off. Winters can be very cold, although the country rarely freezes over. Power supplies are frequently interrupted however so don’t rely on heating. This is a beautiful, fertile region so bring an umbrella and expect rain at any time of year! HIGH ALTITUDE ROAD CLOSURES There is a chance of potential changes to the itinerary due to heavy rain, flooding and snow at higher altitudes, which often affect roads and bridges, making travel difficult or impossible (particularly in remote areas).

    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. You must at all times comply with the laws, customs, foreign exchange and drug regulations of all countries visited, and you also agree to travel in accordance with our Responsible Travel Guidelines. The decision of the group leader is final on all matters likely to affect the safety or well-being of any traveller or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund. We may also elect not to carry you on any future trips booked. 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. For additional Conditions of Carriage regarding COVID-19, see here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/conditions-carriage

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    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: +905326412822 Intrepid's Local Operator: +7 918 6151572

    Responsible 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

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    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.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted 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 your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. Travellers who reside within the European Union or Switzerland receive basic international health insurance, so travel insurance is not mandatory under European Union Law. However, as this does not cover situations such as emergency rescues, private health care, or repatriation to their home country, comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended. European Union or Swiss travellers who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting. For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/booking-resources/our-services

    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. SOLO TRAVELLERS This is the beauty of our style of travel: many of our travellers join because they are travelling solo and want to meet and share experiences with like-minded people. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per your passport or the information we have in our booking system, so if you identify differently from the gender marker on your passport, please let us know in advance. We also have a Single Supplement available on most trips for travellers who prefer to have their own room. Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour. Pre-trip and post-trip accommodation booked through us will on a single room basis. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on an open gender, multi-share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information.

    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 review this information 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 such 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 maybe 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 in the Group Meeting 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. HOT AIR BALLOON CAPPADOCIA: Please note that the optional activity of the Hot Air Balloon is weather dependent. In the case of bad weather we will be unable to fly. Your trip leader will co-ordinate this with our local supplier and the Civil Aviation Authority in Cappadocia.

    Accommodation

    Comfortable hotel (22 nights),Feature Stay (6 nights)

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