Turkey: Hike, Bike & Kayak
from $2245
Duration: 12 Days
Experience Turkey from a different perspective. Abandon well-worn routes to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep in the historical heart of Turkey. Travel from the minarets of Istanbul city, visiting Turkey’s holiest sites, hiking through valleys for fairy chimneys, tackling the Lycian Way, cycling the streets of Kas and kayaking over sunken cities on the Turquoise Coast. Take up the challenge and be amazed by the diversity that's revealed on this active adventure.
  • Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets with your local leader.
  • Hike the valleys of Cappadocia and picnic among surreal fairy chimneys that dot the landscape.
  • Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive.
  • A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean.
  • Hike the famous Lycian Way with breathtaking views of the Turquoise Coast. 
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Cappadocia - Valley walk
  • Goreme- Bike Riding
  • Cappadocia - Valley walk
  • Ephesus - Archaeological site visit
  • Selcuk - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Lycian Way - Hike from Kayakoy to Oludeniz Beach
  • Lycian Way - Faralya to Kabak Guided Hike
  • Kas - Leader led orientation walk
  • Day 1 Location: Istanbul
    Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Check-in time at our joining-point hotel is after 2 pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, but if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Today you'll become acquainted with the eclectic character of the city on an orientation walk.
    Day 2 Location: Cappadocia
    Enjoy a free morning in Istanbul. It’s a good idea to grab a snack during your free time as you won’t arrive in Cappadocia until the afternoon – roasted chestnuts are a delicious and easy street food option! In the afternoon, transfer to the airport and board your flight to Cappadocia. Your leader will confirm the exact time of the flight during the welcome meeting on Day 1. On arrival in Cappadocia, transfer to Goreme, where your leader will help you get your bearings on an orientation walk. The rest of your day is free.
    Day 3 Location: Cappadocia
    With its towering chimneys and beehive-esque mountain caves, Cappadocia really does feel like a dreamscape. After breakfast, begin exploring with a short walk, through either the phallic pillars of Love Valley or the pink-hued rocks of Red Valley. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening in the town of Goreme. If you’re looking to relax and limber up in advance of your hike tomorrow, consider heading to a local hamam (Turkish public bath) for a steam and a scrub.
    Day 4 Location: Cappadocia - Konya (Hiking)
    One of the most iconic images associated with Cappadocia is that of colourful hot air balloons drifting high above the semi-arid rock formations and valleys below. If you can handle the early start, you have the option of rising high with the sun on one of these balloons, experiencing this truly stunning wonderland from above. If you would prefer to stay grounded, your leader will organise a short walk in the morning so you can stretch out your tired legs before a free afternoon. Maybe you’d like to see some of the earliest Christian churches in history at the Goreme Open Air Museum? In the afternoon, depart for Konya, a Central Anatolian Plains city that is as dense and urban as Cappadocia is ancient and expansive. Konya has its own unique religious history as the home of the Mevlevi Order, a spiritual sect better known as the whirling dervishes. You can ponder the influence of this Islamic mysticism on the city around you at the Mevlana Museum, before grabbing a bite and jumping on the overnight train to Izmir.
    Day 5 Location: Selcuk
    Good morning and welcome to Izmir! From here you’ll take a one hour transfer to Selcuk. This town is steeped in Turkish traditions and packed with remnants of the past. First up are the slopes of Ayasoluk Hill, where you will find a castle fortress and 14th-century Isa Bey Mosque among other gems. The famed Temple of Artemis is also worth a look, though all that remains of this ancient wonder is a single pylon. In the afternoon it's time for what may well be the highlight of your trip – the ruins of Ephesus. There will be plenty of time to marvel at the beautifully preserved remains of this ancient metropolis, including the staggering stadium and delicately carved facades. Learn about its 1500-year history in a guided tour. Then, return to Selcuk on foot and enjoy a balmy evening in the local square, and enjoy a very Turkish evening watching locals play cards and backgammon.
    Day 6 Location: Fethiye (Hiking)
    A port city with a stunning coast, an archaeological hotspot and the site of precipitous green cliffs – Fethiye has an abundance of natural and manmade beauty. You’ll arrive here after a 3.5-hour bus ride and begin exploring with a hike along part of the historical Lycian Way trail. This 2-hour, 6-kilometre trek along the rugged coast will take you up a steep rocky path and through forest before you emerge with stunning views of the Mediterranean. Descend into Oludeniz and witness the stunning vista of the Blue Lagoon hemmed by an arching peninsula. This evening you may want to rest up and sort out your pack for tomorrow, as you prepare to tackle another section of the Lycian Way.
    Day 7 Location: Faralya (Hiking)
    Take a short bus ride to Ovacik which marks the official start of the Lycian Way. Begin a 14-kilometre walk toward Faralya. As you pass through areas of pine forests, rocky terrain, and Mediterranean shrub on this day-long hike, you'll catch stunning vistas of clear blue water and Mount Babadag looming above. Your route takes you through the villages of Kozagac and Kirme, where you'll meet a few local farmers and maybe even stop for a cup of tea. Lunch is simple picnic en route. Arrive in Faralya late in the afternoon, and retire for the night at George and his son Hassan's house where you'll enjoy some fine Turkish hospitality.
    Day 8 Location: Faralya - Kabak - Kas (Hiking)
    Rise and shine for the 3-hour hike from Faralya to Kabak, a rather strenuous uphill journey. You’ll be rewarded with the incredible views of lush forest against glittering blue waters. Descend and enjoy lunch at the bay below, and if you’d like, a dip in the clear water. Return to Fethiye and jump on a local bus to Kas. It’s a 3-hour ride, so make sure you’ve got a book, a podcast or the desire to strike up a conversation with a local. Kas is a charming city, with cobblestoned streets and whitewashed walls galore. You might want to rest your aching limbs at one of the waterfront restaurants, where the price of a drink will get you a deck chair, and umbrella and gorgeous views of the sea. Another early night in order. The local handicraft markets make for a great evening activity, and the small ancient theatre offers the best sunset, but don’t forget you’ll be up early tomorrow.
    Day 9 Location: Kas
    Today you will kayak over the sunken city near Kekova, where ruins jut from the crystal clear water. Off the coast of Ucagiz, lies the island of Kekova. On the northern side of the island, you’ll find the stone archways, worn down steps and crumbling walls of a an ancient Lycian settlement, rebuilt during the Byzantine era but has long been abandoned. It will be a 12-kilometre paddle, taking about two hours to complete. The sunken city isn’t the only sight in the area – explore myriad of coves and tiny islands. Then you will return to beautiful Kas, where you may wish to catch the local handicraft market.
    Day 10 Location: Kas
    Settle into the saddle this morning for a leisurely cycle around the streets of Kas. While the exact time spent biking will depend on the group, you can expect to be finished by around midday. The rest of the day is clear so you can relax and recharge in whatever way suits you. You may want to head out on the water again, this time on a gulet (a traditional sailing vessel) and enjoy cruising around the calm waters. Or maybe hit one of the local beaches with a good book. If you’ve still got energy, the nightlife of Kaz is the perfect place to burn it. There are bars and restaurants aplenty for you to while away the evening in.
    Day 11 Location: Istanbul
    Istanbul awaits after a morning of travel. Take a 4-hour public bus ride to Antalya, then transfer to the airport for a 1-hour flight to Istanbul. Settle into your hotel, then head out on a scenic walk across the Galata Bridge in the early evening. A dinner of local indulgent delights caps off your trip. Munch on a local fish sandwich, tuck into some famous baklava and sip some cay (Turkish tea) while reminiscing and saying goodbye to your fellow travellers.
    Day 12 Location: Istanbul
    Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    18APR2022
    Return Date:
    29APR2022
    2245NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    09MAY2022
    Return Date:
    20MAY2022
    2245NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    06JUN2022
    Return Date:
    17JUN2022
    2335NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    22AUG2022
    Return Date:
    02SEP2022
    2245NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05SEP2022
    Return Date:
    16SEP2022
    2335NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    19SEP2022
    Return Date:
    30SEP2022
    2335NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    03OCT2022
    Return Date:
    14OCT2022
    2245NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    08 Sep 2021

    Trip title

    Turkey: Hike, Bike & Kayak

    Trip code

    ERXT

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Experience Turkey from a different perspective. Abandon well-worn routes to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep in the historical heart of Turkey. Travel from the minarets of Istanbul city, visiting Turkey’s holiest sites, hiking through valleys for fairy chimneys, tackling the Lycian Way, cycling the streets of Kas and kayaking over sunken cities on the Turquoise Coast. Take up the challenge and be amazed by the diversity that's revealed on this active adventure.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Active Adventures

    Transport

    Private Bus,Public Bus,Overnight Train,Plane

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    There will be treks of up to 8 hours per day in steep terrain. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy your holiday. You’re in for an active trip! Whilst previous experience isn’t essential for getting involved, a decent level of fitness will help you get the most out of this tour. There’s always a choice to opt out of certain activities too. If you’re already a regular exerciser, you’re probably good to go. If you’re not, it might be an idea to add it into your routine in the weeks leading up to your departure. Anything cardio related (swimming, running, cycling, etc.) would definitely help you to enjoy this action-packed adventure to the max.

    Joining point

    Golden Horn Hotel - Istanbul

    Hocapasa Mah. Istasyon Arkasi Sk. No 9

    Sirkeci

    Istanbul

    TURKEY

    Phone: +90 2125141544

    Joining point description

    Centrally located in the heart of the Historical Peninsula, the Golden Horn Hotel is within walking distance of many of the areas main attractions such as: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cistern. **Please note that there is a hotel of a similar name 'Golden Horn Hotel' located just around the corner. Please check the address carefully if you are making your own way to the hotel.**

    Joining point instructions

    Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise which of Istanbul's two airports you will be flying to at the time of booking. There are two International Airports servicing Istanbul. Istanbul New Airport (IST) is situated 52kms from your starting point hotel. The quickest and easiest way to the hotel is by taxi - there are ranks outside the arrival’s terminal. This service should be approximately 125-155 TL. There is a bus service HAVAIST to various locations in the greater Istanbul, this service is located one level down from the arrival hall. Please enquire at the information booths on the transport level for schedule times and for the purchase of prepaid tickets. You will require the bus for the Eminounu locality and then a short walk from here to your hotel – this fee will be 18TL for the bus. Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located at Pendik / Kurtköy on the Asian side of Istanbul and 50km from you starting point hotel. Taxis are available outside the arrivals hall this service should cost 135-175 TL. There are public buses (IETT) and contracted Bus Services HAVATAS to various locations in the greater Istanbul, please enquire in the terminal building for up to date schedule times. We recommend the HAVATAS bus to Kadikoy and the ferry to Eminounu if choosing public transport. Your hotel will be a short walk from the ferry terminal. If you have pre-booked a transfer, please refer to the instructions below depending on arrival airport. Private Transfer from IST Airport As of September 2020, transport companies are no longer allowed to greet arriving customers with signage at IST Airport. The below process is regulated by local airport authorities. -arriving customers will walk out at the arrivals hall and must make their way outside to gate 9 where the representative will be waiting and will be holding a sign with your name and company logo. This is the only gate to leave the airport. Private Transfer from SAW Airport When exiting into the arrivals hall, please look for our representative who will be holding signage with your name and or our company Logo at column number 13. For all issues regarding arrivals please contact our local emergency number +90 532 641 28 22.

    Finish point

    Golden Horn Hotel - Istanbul

    Hocapasa Mah. Istasyon Arkasi Sk. No 9

    Sirkeci

    Istanbul

    TURKEY

    Phone: +90 2125141544

    Finish point description

    Centrally located in the heart of the Historical Peninsula, the Golden Horn Hotel is within walking distance of many of the areas main attractions such as: Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar and Basilica Cistern. **Please note that there is a hotel of a similar name 'Golden Horn Hotel' located just around the corner. Please check the address carefully if you are making your own way to the hotel.**

    Finish point instructions

    Private airport transfers are available for pre-booking through Intrepid. Contact your agent for details. Be sure to advise which of Istanbul's two airports you will be flying from at the time of booking. For pre-booked departure transfers, please be ready in the hotel lobby 4.5 hours prior to your flight departure time for international flights from both airports. Taxis can be easily hailed or arranged with the hotel; depending on traffic and time of journey except to pay from 150 TL to 200 TL. There are shuttle services and buses available and your Tour Leader can assist with options. For public transport ; If departing from (IST) there are express bus services available from Eminounu just across the bridge from your hotel. If departing from (SAW) we recommend taking the ferry to Kadikoy on the Asian side of the city and the express bus to the airport. If you have any problems with departure transfers please contact our Intrepid Istanbul office on one of the following number: Mob: +90 532 641 2822

    Important information

    GROUP MEETING Welcome Meeting starts at 1 pm on Day One. INTERNAL FLIGHTS There are internal flights  on this trip and most internal flights in Turkey have a luggage restriction of 15 kg checked and 8 kg cabin. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. The Single Supplement is not available on: Day 4 Overnight Train  Day 7 Faralya 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/travel-alerts

    Group leader

    All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. In Turkey, in accordance with local regulations your Leader will also be a licensed Tour Guide and will not only have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip; but will also have specialised knowledge on the sites visited and provide full guiding services.

    Safety

    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-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. 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.

    Visas

    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 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.

    Why we love it

    Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets with your local leader.

    Hike the valleys of Cappadocia and picnic among surreal fairy chimneys that dot the landscape.

    Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive.

    A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean.

    Hike the famous Lycian Way with breathtaking views of the Turquoise Coast. 

    Is this trip right for you

    Though you don’t need to be an athlete to take part in this trip, you do need to have a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy it fully. Most activities are moderate and slow paced. Hiking activities range from 3 km to 14 km in a day, and they can be uphill and in full sun. The cycling activity is 30 km and basic mountain biking skills are required. The kayaking is approximately 2.5 hours of paddling (12 km), with no previous experience required. Most travel is on public buses. The aim behind this is two-fold: to give you a taste of local life and to minimise the carbon footprint. In fact, you'll be pleasantly surprised to find most Turkish buses have wi-fi and serve coffee and cake! You will need to carry your own bags to and from hotels, bus stops and train stations. So it's a good idea to travel light if you can. There is a homestay on Day 8 in a local village. This cabin accommodation is comfortable and clean but basic with share bathroom facilities. There is a pool to cool off and the view of butterfly valley is breathtaking. This is an authentic local experience and a way to experience Turkish hospitality at its best. Where possible, we have tried to plan the hiking and cycling to mornings and afternoons, but please be aware it can get hot in the summer months. You will need to pack good walking shoes, a hat, some sunscreen, and a daypack. Don’t forget a jacket and swimming gear.

    Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. DRINKING WATER As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

    Food and dietary requirements

    Your group leader or representative will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. There are, however some meals and activities that are fixed in advance and therefore cannot be modified to suit dietary requirements. Please notify your booking consultant of any dietary requirements at the time of booking. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader or representative will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic.

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). CURRENCY The Official currency of Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY). Most goods and services can be paid for using the local currency. The EUR is also acceptable as is the USD. For the supply of everyday services like meals and general shopping we recommend the local currency. BANKING ATMs are widely available in all major towns and cities throughout Turkey. Credit and debit cards are the best way to access money throughout most trips (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and MasterCard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. TIPPING If you're happy with the services provided during your trip, whilst not compulsory it is considered cultural appropriate to offer a gratuity.  Whilst it may not be customary to you, it's 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. The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however EURO 1 - 2  per person per day is generally appropriate. Blue Cruise: If you trip includes an overnight or daily Mediterranean cruise you may want to consider leaving a goodwill gesture for the crew EURO 1-2 per person per day is generally appropriate adjusted based on the duration of the cruise. Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline  EURO 3 - 4 per person, per day 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.  Tipping in local currency equivalent is perfectly acceptable and often preferred. Tipping Kitty: 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, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping 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. As a general note, bathrooms in Turkey do often charge a fee.  This fee can vary but generally 2-3 TL is required, so it is useful to keep some loose change handy. 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.

    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. 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, 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/ hand sanitizer  • 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.  • Camera with spare memory cards and batteries • Clothing - The staple travel items but consider the time of year.  We recommend a fleece/jacket any time    of the year and a scarf for women for visiting religious sites   Cold Weather• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater• Scarf• Warm gloves• Warm hat• Warm layers / thermals   Warm Weather:• Sandals/flip-flops• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)• Sun                    hat/bandana• Swimwear 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 Please note that as a desert region, the Middle East can have extreme weather. Temperatures are generally hot with little rain. This can become extreme during the summer months of June to August. In the months of December to March it can be very cold, particularly next to the river or the ocean and out in the desert where night temperatures can drop dramatically. Even in the hot months, it can get cold in the desert at night. Consider bringing a sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in this period, especially on itineraries which include camping such as on a felucca, in a desert camp, or at a Red Sea beach camp. A light water and windproof jacket is useful and a hat is 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 – home stays, beach and desert camps etc. RESTRICTED ITEMS Generally drones are not permitted into any Middle East destination or they require registration and pre approval please refer to your airline carrier if you are considering taking a drone on your travels or check out drone laws by country on line. We have had some reports of binoculars being confiscated or causing delay in customs if carried in hand luggage.  

    Climate and seasonal

    WEATHER: Please note that the weather in July and August can be very hot. We will endeavour to hike in early mornings and through shaded areas to minimise the suns effect. 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 or Ramzan in Turkey will be in progress from 12 April - 12 May 2021 and 2 April - 1 May 2022, with 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 travels. If you have concerns about travelling at this time, please check with Intrepid or your booking agent before your departure.

    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

    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/

    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. Intrepid's Local Operator: +905326412822

    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 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.

    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/ Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Turkey include: Small Project Istanbul (SPI) Small Projects Istanbul (SPI) is a grassroots NGO operating in Istanbul. They provide skills development training, livelihood support, and educational and language support.  SPI offers 40+ programs a week that aim to improve the skills of women and their children toward brighter futures in which they will be the decision makers. Children participate in childcare, language and psychosocial support to better cope and integrate into mainstream Turkish schools. Meanwhile, their mothers take part in the Women's Skills Development Program which transfers entrepreneurial, leadership, and technical handicraft skills in conjunction with their social enterprise, in which the participants gain a livelihood. Donations to SPI through the Intrepid Foundation will support the Women’s Skills Development Program. All donations made via https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/small-projects-istanbul will be matched. "Drop Earrings Not Bombs" is one of the initiatives of the women's social enterprise at SPI https://dropearringsnotbombs.org

    Transport notes

    Turkey - Public Transport When and where possible we will use public buses to travel between cities on this trip. However due to weather and seasonal bus schedules we may find it necessary to substitute public buses with private transport on some days. Public buses in Turkey don't have toilets on board. Breaks are normally scheduled at rest stops every 2-3 hours.

    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.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (9 nights),Guesthouse (1 nights),Overnight Train (1 night)

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