Turkey and the Caucasus Adventure
from $11450
Duration: 29 Days
Go deep into the ancient heart of fascinating Turkey, then continue to verdant the 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 mingles with modern influences. Journey through forests and past tall mountain peaks to find medieval mosques and villages. Wander through cosmopolitan Baku and Tbilisi and make friends with the locals along the way over tea or a glass of qvevri wine. This 29-day Caucasus adventure is sure to be unforgettable.
  • Discover the Istanbul of old on a guided walk with your leader, discovering treasures like the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and the Million.
  • Feast your eyes on the best of Turkey's otherworldly sights, from the Cotton Castle of Pamukkale to the psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia.
  • Sip Georgian drops at a winery, tasting tannins while being serenaded by a Georgian polyphonic
  • Choir in the traditional folk style of the Kakheti region.
  • Mud volcanoes, ancient mosques, lush forests and tall peaks – the Caucasus Mountains will take your breath away.
  • Immerse yourself in Zoroastrian traditions during a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Ateshgah of Baku (fire temple) and the natural, eternally burning flames of Yanardagh.
  • Istanbul - City Tour
  • Istanbul - Blue Mosque
  • Gallipoli - guided visit
  • Troy - Archeological Guided Site Visit
  • Sirince - Wine Tasting
  • Seluck - Orientation Walk
  • Ephesus - archaeological site
  • Selcuk - Isa Bey Camii
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
  • Kayakoy- Ghost Village
  • Kas - Boat Cruise and lunch
  • Antalya - Kaleici visit
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum
  • Antalya - Sagalassos
  • Konya - Mevlana Museum
  • Cappadocia - Valley Walk
  • Goreme - Open Air Museum
  • Cappadocia - Pottery Demonstration
  • Cappadocia - Ozkonak Underground City
  • Baku - Maiden's Tower
  • Day 1 Location: Istanbul
    Welcome to Istanbul, the continent-straddling metropolis that the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans have all called home at various points throughout history. Enjoy a complimentary transfer to the accommodation from the airport. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. After the meeting, head out with your Peregrine local leader to explore the Old City of Istanbul. Your leader will introduce you to some of the historical treasures of the city, including the Blue Mosque (so named for its classic tiles), the ancient Hippodrome (once the setting of chariot races) and the Million (a stone road marker in use since the fourth century). This evening choose whether to join your fellow travellers during an optional dinner.
    Day 2 Location: Canakkale
    Rise and shine for an early breakfast, then begin the drive to Çanakkale. located on the shores of the Dardanelles (the strait that connects Europe and Asia via the Gelibolu Peninsula and the Biga Peninsula). Arrive in time for an included lunch, then head to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Visit the cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill toward the poignant memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. Look down upon the rough hills and gullies that became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men on both sides. Tour the former battlefields and find remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. 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. Here legend and history fuse together, and you can see both ancient city walls as well as a replica Trojan Horse. Learn how the site has confounded historians and archaeologists, then continue to Selcuk. On arrival, pay a visit to the famously adorable village of Sirince and enjoy a tasting of local fruit wine.
    Day 4 Location: Selcuk
    This morning enjoy 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 during this fascinating tour. 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. 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. Make a stop at Sultankoy. This small village is dedicated to carpet weaving, and here you can discover all about this traditional art form, from dying the wool to traditional weaving on wooden looms.
    Day 5 Location: Pamukkale
    After breakfast this morning, travel to Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle' and a truly unique sight. This magical and spectacular natural phenomenon was created by deposits from thermal waters that cascaded down the mountainside over hundreds of years, forming myriad 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. Close to Pamukkale are the ruins of Hierapolis, an important Roman bath centre founded by the King of Pergamon in 190 BC. Explore the extensive ruins of Hierapolis, which include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis.
    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 poignant 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.
    Day 7 Location: Kas
    Embark on a boat cruise around the local islands with two local guides, Mehmet and Sebahat. Hailing from the small village of Ucagiz, bought a boat and went fishing after they married and never stopped. While the fishing industry has shifted due to modern catchment methods, Mehmet and Sebahat decided to use their 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 and also to the village of Simena, sailing from large bays to protected inlets where you can cool off with a swim in turquoise waters. Enjoy lunch cooked on board in Tersane Bay, where the water is so clear you can see the bottom and the shore is lined with the ruins of an ancient city. Look out for ruins submerged under the clear water. After a day on the water, return to Kas for an evening at your leisure.
    Day 8 Location: Antalya
    Take a scenic drive to the jewel in the Mediterranean crown – Antalya. Your accommodation is located in the Kaleici (Old City), so settle in on arrival and then head out on an afternoon walk to see Hadrians Gate, the Old Roman Harbour and more stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Spend the night in the ancient Kaleci. While dinner this evening is not included, it would be a crime not to try some of the fresh, local seafood served in one of the many restaurants.
    Day 9 Location: Antalya
    This morning take 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 relax in the Kaleici, beat the heat with a swim 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
    Make a 2-hour morning drive in Burdur province to the city of Sagalassos. The ruins of the city are dramatically sited in the Taurus Mountains, offering magnificent views as well as impressive ancient monuments. Continue on to Konya, an ancient city important in the Roman era where the Sufi practice of 'whirling' was born.
    Day 11 Location: Cappadocia
    This morning 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 before continuing Cappadocia. Arrive by late afternoon, with time to see the main village and perhaps take a short valley walk with your leader. Your evening is free. One optional activity that may be of interest after what you learned this morning is 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 otherworldly Cappadocian landscape. The scene at sunrise is sure to take your breath away. After a relaxing breakfast on a terrace overlooking the valley, visit the Goreme Open Air Museum. See the many incredible houses, churches and monasteries carved out of the soft cliff face. The Christian sanctuaries contain many examples of Byzantine art, cave chapels and colourful biblical frescoes from the 10th–12th centuries. Later in the afternoon, go on a short walk through '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
    Head on a morning walk to what is arguably the most beautiful valley in Cappadocia, Kizilcukur. You'll see fascinating rock formations such as cones, peaks and fairy chimneys, as well as man-made cave chapels. After lunch, head toward the red river of Avanos and descend to Ozkonak, an underground city hollowed out of tufa rock that dates back to 400 BC. Explore this unique city, including the crude communication system that allowed signals to be sent between all ten levels. Return to the surface and visit a local potter. Discover the rich clay from the red river and watch how it is moulded into exquisite pieces, then return to your hotel via Devrent Valley.
    Day 14 Location: Istanbul
    This morning say goodbye to Cappadocia and return to Istanbul. On arrival in Istanbul, transfer to your hotel. The afternoon is yours to explore some of the charms of Istanbul. This evening consider joining your group and leader for an optional dinner.
    Day 15 Location: Baku
    This morning transfer to Istanbul International Airport for your flight to Baku. Your leader in Turkey will provide all flight details for you. Salam eleykim! Welcome to Azerbaijan. Baku certainly is a city where old meets new – ancient fortified buildings standing next to Russian imperial-style squares and ultra-modern architectural wonders. Meet your new leader and group today at a welcome meeting at 6pm.
    Day 16 Location: Baku
    Get to know Baku with a tour of the city, taking in a visit to the Old City, including time at Shemakha Gate, the Palace of the Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower and Old Market Square. Be sure to bring your camera as there will be some panoramic views of Baku's varied skyline to enjoy. Afterwards, embark on a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Ateshgah Fire Temple, Mardakan Medieval Fortress and the eternally burning Yanar Dag (Fire Mountain). Return to Baku in the evening and enjoy a local dinner with your leader and small group.
    Day 17 Location: Baku
    This morning, head out of the city on a day trip to Qobustan, located around 60 kilometres south of Baku. Visit one of the world's largest open-air archaeological museums and wander past 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 and finish your day with a visit to the much-loved Carpet Museum located on the waterfront. Afterwards, perhaps continue to 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: Baku – 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 an active mud volcano, Diri Baba Mausoleum in Maraza, the Yeddi Gumbaz Mausoleum, and the Juma Mosque in Shemakha. Also, stop in to visit a family to learn traditional yoghurt making methods and enjoy some local snacks. On arrival in Sheki, stop at 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. After a long day of driving and activities, enjoy a relaxing night in Sheki.
    Day 19 Location: Sheki – Kvareli (Azerbaijan–Georgia border)
    Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and visit the local Sheki bazaar before driving to Lagodeckhi – a town at the Azerbaijan–Georgia border – to meet your Georgian leader and 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 lunch with a local family, which includes delicious homemade cuisine and wine. Discover the importance of bread in the Georgian diet and discover how they bake this staple before continuing to a winery to sample different kinds of the Georgian varietals. 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 Kvareli – Royal Batoni castle – located in a picturesque area on the banks of Ilia Lake, between the Kvareli Mountains and the Duruji River. Spend time relaxing by the outdoor swimming pool overlooking the lake, or in your elegant room with lake or mountain views.
    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. After some time to admire the picturesque views of Alazani Valley and Great Caucasus Mountains, drive to Tbilisi. Once arrived, 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. Get to know the city on a walk beginning from the 13th-century Metekhi Church, with its magnificent views over old Tbilisi, before visiting the main sights of the city. In the afternoon enjoy some free time.
    Day 21 Location: Tbilisi
    Enjoy panoramic views of the whole town from the ancient Narikala Fortress, then head to the historic domed sulphur bath area. Visit the stunning treasury of the Golden Fund at the Natural History Museum (closed on Mondays), which will prove that Georgia is truly the land of the Golden Fleece. From here, visit a local art studio and become acquainted with Georgian cloisonne enamel – also known as Minanqari – and see how it is made. This afternoon is free for you to continue your independent exploration, so why not treat yourself to a spa treatment at one of the thermal bathhouses around the city? This is a traditional experience, and there are many bathhouses to check out around back in the the Abanotubani area of the city.
    Day 22 Location: Mtsheta – Borjomi – Akhaltsikhe
    Today visit Mtskheta – the ancient capital and religious centre of Georgia. Visit World Heritage-listed sites such as the sixth-century Jvari Monastery and the impressive Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, where the Robe of Christ is purported to be buried. Afterwards, visit a wine cellar in the village of Chardakhi and taste unique BIO wines, produced using traditional Georgian methods. Meet the owners of the wine cellar over a delicious lunch and Qvevri wines. In the afternoon, drive to the south-western part of Georgia and visit Borjomi Spa Town, famous for its mineral water Borjomi. Spend the night in Akhaltsikhe, with dinner included at your hotel.
    Day 23 Location: Vardzia – Akhaltsikhe
    Today, drive to the magnificent cave town of Vardzia, which 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. En route to Vardzia, you'll also visit the 10th-century Khertvisi Fortress. In the afternoon return to Akhaltsikhe and visit the multicultural complex of Rabat (closed on Mondays). Spend the evening with your group at an included dinner at your hotel.
    Day 24 Location: Uplistsikhe – Gudauri
    In the morning visit the town of Gori, home to the Stalin Museum, and historic Uplistsikhe Cave Town. Uplistsikhe was a stop on the Great Silk Road, and is a fascinating complex with dwelling quarters, wine cellars, bakeries, a three-nave basilica church hewn out in rock and even a theatre! 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. The carvings on the churches are one of the best surviving examples of Georgian art. Enjoy a scenic drive through the Caucasus Mountains, and arrive at your hotel in Gudauri. Dinner is included at your hotel this evening.
    Day 25 Location: Gudauri
    Enjoy a stunning drive from Gudauri along the Tergi River before arriving in Kazbegi. From here, 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, and dinner this evening is included at the hotel.
    Day 26 Location: Dilijan (Georgia–Armenia Border)
    Enjoy a final breakfast in Gudauri before driving to Sadakhlo – a village at the Georgia–Armenia border. Here, your group will change leaders and 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. Continue on to the picturesque resort town of Dilijan, 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. Stay overnight at a hotel in Dilijan.
    Day 27 Location: 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, built by the Armenian King Tiridates and dedicated to Mithra, the God of the Sun. Be treated to a local performance in the temple 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. Stay overnight at a hotel in Yerevan.
    Day 28 Location: Yerevan
    After breakfast, become familiar with the streets of Yerevan on a leader-led city tour. 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. In the afternoon, depart for Zvartnots Temple – a stunning example of seventh-century Armenian architecture. Return to the capital in the afternoon to discover Armenian Carpet Making and learn about the weaving process and to swing past the local fruit market before returning to your hotel for the night.
    Day 29 Location: Yerevan
    Today your adventure comes to an end after breakfast. There are no activities included on this day and you are free to leave at any time.
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    01APR2021
    Return Date:
    29APR2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    18APR2021
    Return Date:
    16MAY2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27APR2021
    Return Date:
    25MAY2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    16MAY2021
    Return Date:
    13JUN2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    30MAY2021
    Return Date:
    27JUN2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    27JUN2021
    Return Date:
    25JUL2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    29AUG2021
    Return Date:
    26SEP2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    05SEP2021
    Return Date:
    03OCT2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    09SEP2021
    Return Date:
    07OCT2021
    11450NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    12 Jul 2020

    Trip title

    Turkey and the Caucasus Adventure

    Trip code

    PETAC

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2021

    Introduction

    Go deep into the ancient heart of fascinating Turkey, then continue to verdant the 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 mingles with modern influences. Journey through forests and past tall mountain peaks to find medieval mosques and villages. Wander through cosmopolitan Baku and Tbilisi and make friends with the locals along the way over tea or a glass of qvevri wine. This 29-day Caucasus adventure is sure to be unforgettable.

    Style

    Peregrine

    Transport

    Private Bus

    Physical Rating

    3

    Physical preparation

    There are some long driving days on this trip, so you need to be prepared for long periods of sitting. Sights such as cathedrals and monasteries often have many steps without handrails and that can be uneven. A number of walking tours are included on this trip. You will need to have good overall fitness to be able to make the most of everything there is to see and do.

    Joining point

    Legacy Ottoman Hotel

    Hobyar Mahallesi Hamidiye Cd. No:16

    Fatih / Sirkeci

    Istanbul

    TURKEY

    Phone: +90 2125276767

    Joining point description

    The Legacy Ottoman Hotel is located in a grand old building on the historical peninsula of Istanbul. Designed in 1911 the building is styled in first Turkish national architecture or Ottoman Revivalism. The Hotel is within walking distance to the major historical sights of the city and is a perfect base for exploring Istanbul. There is an excellent coffee shop on site and the restaurant and bar facilities on the rooftop level offer stellar views of the Bosphorus. Standard Rooms feature a safe box, satellite television, wireless internet, and hairdryers.

    Joining point instructions

    A complimentary arrival transfer is included in this tour. Private departure transfers are available for pre-booking through Peregrine. Please ensure that Peregrine has been advised of your correct flight details into Istanbul by either yourself or your travel agent at least 15 days before you travel. There are two International Airports servicing Istanbul. Istanbul New Airport (IST) is situated 52kms from your starting point hotel. Sabiha Gokcen Airport (SAW) is located at Pendik / Kurtköy on the Asian side of Istanbul and 50km from your starting point hotel. Taxis are available and should cost between 150-175 TL. If you have pre-booked a transfer or have a complimentary transfer, please refer to the instructions below depending on arrival airport. Private Transfer from IST Airport As of January 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 to the meeting lounge, veer left and follow the signage to this area. In the Meeting Lounge give your name to the local representatives. -the airport representative will contact the appropriate transfer representative waiting in the airport, who will arrive and escort you to the waiting vehicle. Should you experience any problems with this process please provide the number of our transport company to the airport representative at the Meeting Lounge: + 90 553 313 47 60 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. For all issues regarding arrivals please contact our local emergency number +90 532 641 28 22.

    Finish point

    Ani Plaza Hotel

    19 Sayat-Nova Ave

    Yerevan

    Yerevan

    0001

    ARMENIA

    Phone: +374 10 589 500

    Finish point description

    An indoor swimming pool, gym and sauna are offered at this 4-star hotel in the business and entertainment district of Yerevan. The hotel is located 100 meters from the Opera house and in a walking distance from Republic Square, National Gallery and Cascade. The spacious rooms at Ani Plaza Hotel Yerevan feature warm colours and cosy carpet. All rooms are air-conditioned and include satellite TV and a private bathroom. Some rooms offer panoramic views of Yerevan and Mount Ararat. The Ani Plaza offers a 24-hour reception. Wi-Fi is free at the Ani Plaza Hotel. It is 4 km from Yerevan Central Station and 13 km from Yerevan Airport.

    Finish point instructions

    A departure transfer is available to book. The departure transfer must be pre-arranged in advance, no later than 14 days prior to departure. If you are travelling onwards your Leader will be able to offer any tips and advice for transferring to your next hotel or destination.

    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. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.  3. This trip includes domestic and international flights as indicated on the trip map. The luggage allowance for domestic flights is 15kg for check in luggage and 5kg for carry on. The international flight between Turkey and Azerbaijan has a luggage allowance of 20kg for check in luggage and 8kg for carry on. While in Turkey, you can store excess luggage at the Istanbul hotel. 4. This trip starts at 1pm on Day 1 in Istanbul. This allows time after the joining meeting to explore Istanbul with your leader.

    Group leader

    All Peregrine Adventures 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. Peregrine Adventures endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new 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. This Peregrine Adventure will have four Leaders, and each will be local to their own destination.

    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 Peregrine itinerary, and Peregrine Adventures 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 Peregrine Adventures' 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:

    Visas

    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay. We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent. AZERBAIJAN VISA: All travellers to Azerbaijan require a visa. It is not possible to get a visa on arrival at Baku Airport or at any land border into Azerbaijan. All travellers must apply for a Single Entry Tourist E-Visa to Azerbaijan in advance.  As of 10th January 2017, nationals of 81 countries can apply for an Azerbaijan e-visa without the previously required visa support. Applications can be made directly though the electronic vias portal here: https://evisa.gov.az/en/ The e-visa currently costs USD 20 and takes 3-5 days to be issued. Once issued, please print out copies to carry with you as this will be required to board your flight to Azerbaijan as well as when going through immigration. You will need to keep this printed or PDF visa for exit purposes as well. Travelling to Nagorno Karabakh before going to Azerbaijan will cause entry issues when going through Azerbaijan immigration if you have a stamp from Nagorno Karabakh on your passport or going to this region while in Azerbaijan will be considered as criminal offence. 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. TURKEY: Australia: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Belgium: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Canada: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Germany: No - not required Ireland: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Netherlands: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go New Zealand: No - not required South Africa: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Switzerland: No - not required United Kingdom: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go USA: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Most nationalities require a visa to enter Turkey. Visas must be obtained through the e-Visa system. To apply for an e-visa, please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at least two weeks before you arrive in Turkey. This multiple entry e-Visa costs USD60 as is valid for 90 days. Please note, visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region. Some countries do not require a visa at all. This includes passport holders from New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to three months. We recommend all nationalities check with their local consulate o embassy as this information can change. Entry Requirements – Passport Validity: Foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa. TURKEY (ALL TRIPS): Please note that many nationalities require a visit to enter Turkey: Australia: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Belgium: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Canada: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Germany: No - not required Ireland: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Netherlands: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go New Zealand: No - not required South Africa: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Switzerland: No - not required United Kingdom: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go USA: Yes - apply for an e-visa before you go Other nationalities should check via your local consulate or embassy. To apply for an e-visa, please go to https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ at least a few weeks before you go. The visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region. From 01 January 2015, foreigners entering Turkey must carry a passport with at least 60 days validity beyond the expiry date of their visa or residence permit. A valid passport is sufficient for citizens of most other countries including New Zealand, Argentina, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland for stays up to 3 months. All other nationalities please check with your nearest Turkish embassy.

    Why we love it

    Discover the Istanbul of old on a guided walk with your leader, discovering treasures like the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome and the Million.

    Feast your eyes on the best of Turkey's otherworldly sights, from the Cotton Castle of Pamukkale to the psychedelic rockscapes of Cappadocia.

    Sip Georgian drops at a winery, tasting tannins while being serenaded by a Georgian polyphonic

    Choir in the traditional folk style of the Kakheti region.

    Mud volcanoes, ancient mosques, lush forests and tall peaks – the Caucasus Mountains will take your breath away.

    Immerse yourself in Zoroastrian traditions during a tour of the Absheron Peninsula, visiting the Ateshgah of Baku (fire temple) and the natural, eternally burning flames of Yanardagh.

    Is this trip right for you

    There are some long travel days on this adventure. This is a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers and enjoy the passing scenery. As we don't want you to miss anything, the itinerary is densely packed, so you'll be busy squeezing in as many sights and activities as you can. Our expertly trained leaders are there to make your trip authentic, enjoyable and hassle-free. You will have four different local leaders on this tour, so that you can explore each country with a local expert. Georgia and Armenia have a rich Christian history, which means sightseeing involves a lot of churches and monasteries. Some travellers find this a tad repetitive. You are always welcome to sit out any included sightseeing if this is the case. Some activities are dependent on weather and road conditions. Your leader will keep you up to date on any necessary itinerary changes and organise alternative plans if necessary. This trip involves a lot of walking, sometimes on rocky or slippery terrain such as the sites in Goreme. Please bring sturdy walking shoes, but also note that you can sit out the walks if you do not feel up to them. Turkey can get hot in the summer months of July and August but this is normally a dry heat and is easier to cope with than humidity. Where possible, you'll be taken to sites in the early morning before it gets too hot. Turkey can also get quite cool, particularly night time temperatures in April and October. Not all hotels will have heating so make sure to bring a few warm items with you. 

    Health

    Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please consult your doctor or a travel health specialist. The choice of vaccinations can depend on a range of issues including the specific destination, the duration of the trip, your personal health and of course what vaccines you have had before. Routine Background Vaccines: We strongly endorse current public health recommendations that all travellers should be up-to-date with their routine vaccines such as tetanus, diphtheria, measles/mumps/rubella, polio and influenza, and paediatric vaccinations for children. Travel Vaccinations: While the food and water-borne diseases such as hepatitis A and typhoid will apply to most of our travellers, other travel vaccines such as hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis and cholera may apply to select travellers, especially long-term travel. Travel health experts can advise on what is required and also what is not required! It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. If you need to arrange vaccinations or a supply of preventative medicine (e.g. malaria tablets), you should contact your doctor at least two months before you depart. Some inoculations require more than one visit and can take several weeks to administer the full course. For travellers from Australia and New Zealand, we recommend the Travel Doctor-TMVC clinics (see http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/ or phone 1300 658 844 for an appointment in Australia). Travellers from countries other than Australia and New Zealand should contact similar organisations or their travel doctor for advice. General health and vaccination information is available to all travellers at: http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/travelreport.asp?UnqID=0.4630191&PageID=10&nav=personal-traveller Some vaccines require more than one dose, so arrange for your visit at least 4-6 weeks before you travel. You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling.

    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). TIPPING: On this trip, we have included gratuities for the essential services that you will receive as part of your tour package. Where applicable, this will cover tips to drivers and restaurant staff for included meals. This amount DOES NOT include a tip for your tour leader, so you may wish to set aside some funds for this. It is customary to tip your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. Tips are greatly appreciated as a gesture of thanks for their professionalism and leadership during your holiday. We are often asked what a reasonable amount might be. The amount is at your discretion, but a sum of €2-4 per person/per day can be used Tipping in Europe, although not compulsory, is a widespread practice. Tips for good service are appreciated, if not expected. The amount depends on your resources, tipping philosophy and the circumstance. You therefore may wish to put aside some money for your own tipping, such as when you are doing our own optional sightseeing or an activity that involves local guides, drivers, when joining in optional groups meals or dining out on your own. If you are paying for taxis, round up to the next euro on the fare. Also, If you stop at a public WC, you may have to tip the attendant anywhere from a bit of change to €1.50. If you're not sure whether (or how much) to tip for a service, ask your tour leader for advice. 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. CREDIT CARD, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE ATMs are widely available in all major towns and cities throughout the Turkey and the Caucasus. 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. Azerbaijan's currency is the Manat, with one hundred Qapik to one Manat. All goods and services are paid in local currency (Manats). Sterling, US dollars and Euros are easily exchanged. Major hotels and international supermarkets and restaurants accept credit cards. There are ATMs in most major towns and cities. Georgian Lari is the official currency of Georgia. 100 tetri = 1 lari. Coins are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 & 50 tetri, as well as 1 & 2 lari. Although prices are often quoted in US dollars and Euros, 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. Travellers’ cheques are not widely accepted. The Armenian national currency is the dram.  Paper notes are issued in denominations of 500, 1.000, 5.000, 10.000, 20.000 and 50000 Dram.  Coins replace all banknotes less than 500 dram (10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500). Cash can be changed at banks and in exchange bureaux. Credit cards and  debit cards displaying the Maestro and/or Cirrus sign 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. There are many ATMs in Yerevan. They accept major credit cards and debit cards with the Maestro/Cirrus or Visa sign displayed on the card. 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.

    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 or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg. Many travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller suitcases or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps or handles. If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. A lockable bag or small padlock will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. Essential: - Clothing: a mixture of lightweight and dry fast clothing and warm layers are recommended essential for travelling in this region. Long shirts, pants, scarves are useful for covering shoulders & knees when visiting religious sites. - Shoes: sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking long distances are essential. - Personal travel documents inc. your passport (visa), travel insurance, fight tickets and trip notes. Photo copies of your passport and visa, passport size photos and travel insurance will be handy. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. - small first aid kit including items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes, Band-Aids and insect repellent, and essential medicine depending on your doctors advice. - Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card and money belt - Sun protection like hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Recommended: - Refillable water bottle (1.5 litre capacity suggested): 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. - Cell phone, camera with spare batteries, charger, and adapter plug - Hand wash, travel wipes, toiletries and small towel - Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) - Torch or flash light esp. for stay at local guesthouses or home stays Optional: - Sleeping bag. Useful for camping, overnight trains and poorly heated hotels, particularly during the winter months of Dec - Feb when temperatures are low. - Sleep sheet. If you are travelling during the hot season you may wish to pack a sleep sheet so you will be comfortable no matter what the weather. - Ear plugs to guard against street noise and snorers. - A good book, a journal and music player for overnight train rides and longer drives. Other things to consider: - Check weather in destinations you are travelling to online a few days before you go to make sure you pack appropriate clothing - Laundry facilities may not be available in all destinations, so make sure you have a few cycles of clothes to tide you over until your next chance to wash

    Climate and seasonal

    RAMADAN 2020 In 2020, the important month of Ramadan or Ramzan in Turkey will be in progress from 23 April through until 23 May, and the Eid ul-Fitr festival or Bayram in Turkey will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected. Ramadan month can differ from country to country and region to region, it can be a wonderful inclusion in your vacation. If you have concerns about travelling at this time, please check with Intrepid or your booking agent before your departure.

    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.

    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: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: Peregrine's Local Operator: +90 532 641 2822 Peregrine's Local Operator: +994 +994 552974020 OR _Georgia: +995 598 25 27 23 OR +995 599 55 89 98

    Responsible travel

    Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent. - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to 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 Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works 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

    Spend three nights in the historical centre of Goreme, Heybe Hotel and Spa offers stylish comfort in the heart of Cappadocia. One of the first boutique hotels in Cappadocia, with well appointed rooms structured from local tuff stone, with soft furnishing from local textiles. Breakfast on the top level of the hotel offers remarkable views of the valleys.

    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:

    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.

    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.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (25 nights) Heybe Hotel Cappadocia (Feature Stay 3 nights) Royal Batoni ( Feature Stay 1 night)

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