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Best of Turkey Tour

Well organized with good guides. Small groups and well paced and decent time for departure from one city to another.

Jagdev, Aug 2017

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Best of Turkey OVERVIEW

TOUR SUMMARY

11 days

Istanbul to Istanbul

From US$1680

$1345 (p/p)

Country(ies): Turkey

Tour type: Small Group

Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 20

Accommodation: 4-star, 5-star & boutique hotels

Meals:

Transport: AC minibus/coach

Highlights: Istanbul Old City, Cappadocia underground cities fairy chimneys, Sultanhani Caravansary, Pamukkale calcium travertines, ancient Greek & Roman ruins at Ephesus & Hieropolis, Acropolis of Pergamum, Troy, Gallipoli battlefield sites

Spend 11 days journeying through history in Turkey. This exciting itinerary includes all the highlights of this diverse country. You will see Istanbul's grand and ancient landmarks, steeped in history.

You will also visit temples and churches, ancient cities and important mausoleums. Journey down the ancient Silk Road, see the ethereal formations of Cappadocia, and explore the unique cascades of Pamukkale.

History and culture combine to ensure a trip filled with magical, unforgettable memories!

ITINERARY

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Day 1 Arrival in Istanbul

Your 10 day adventure starts with your arrival in Istanbul. This is a grand and ancient city of mosques and museums, winding roads and historical landmarks.

Perched at the intersection of two continents, Istanbul features a unique blend of European and Asian culture, history, and architecture. After being transferred to your hotel, you will have the rest of the day to yourself in Istanbul.

OVERNIGHT:

Istanbul 4-star hotel

MEALS:

None

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour


Day 2 Tour of Istanbul's Old City

Day two includes a tour of Istanbul’s Old City. Here we will visit some of the city's most famous and captivating sites. The Blue Mosque is world-famous and is arguably Istanbul’s most iconic landmark.

The majestic Hagia Sophia is breathtaking in its grandeur, while the Topkapi Palace and Museum is filled with fascinating relics and artefacts.

This afternoon, you have the option of experiencing a cruise on the Bosphorus River, the channel that separates Europe from Asia.

OVERNIGHT:

Istanbul 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 3 Ankara, Anitkabir, Cappadocia

After departing Istanbul, we head today towards Ankara. This is Turkey's capital, and is also the resting place of one of the country's most celebrated leaders. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and was the republic's first president. His mausoleum is called Anitkabir.

We continue on until we reach Cappadocia. This magical place has emerged as one of the most popular destinations in Turkey. Its unique landscape is made up of hundreds of volcanic rock formations in strange and peculiar shapes.

OVERNIGHT:

Cappadocia boutique hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 4 Goreme, Pasabag, Uchisar Castle, Folklore evening

The fourth day of the tour is filled with visits to several intriguing natural and cultural sites. First, we tour the Goreme Open Air Museum. Here you will find a beautiful collection of churches and monasteries that have been sculpted into the rock formations. In many, you can still see colourful paintings and frescoes on the walls.

We then visit the aptly-named fairy chimneys of Pasabag, and the majestic castle of Uchisar. In the evening, there is an optional Turkish folklore experience, belly dancers included- a chance to end off the day in a memorable way.

OVERNIGHT:

Cappadocia boutique hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 5 Kaymakli, Konya, Sultan Hani Caranvansary, Mevlana Museum, Alaeddin Mosque

We start off day five with a visit to Kaymakli Underground City, where we explore the fascinating tunnels and mazes. We then set off towards our next destination, Konya, by taking the famous ancient Silk Road.

En-route, we stop off at the Sultan Hani Caravansary. This is a type of roadside inn, which was frequented by travellers of old as they traversed the Silk Road. This is a wonderful stop that will give us an insight into what the ancient traders might have experienced.

When we reach Konya, we pay a visit to the Mevlana Museum, the mausoleum of the world-famous philosopher and poet Jalaluddin Rumi, as well Alaeddin Mosque, the largest and oldest mosque in Konya..

OVERNIGHT:

Konya 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 6 Sagalassos

Our destination today is Pamukkale, one of Turkey's most popular destinations. On our way, we stop to explore the ancient city of Sagalassos. Extremely well-preserved, this city was conquered in 33BC by Alexander the Great as he made his way towards Persia. It thrived for a time as an important exporter of pottery and agricultural products, before eventually falling into ruin after an earthquake and plague epidemic.

OVERNIGHT:

Pamukkale 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 7 Pamukkale, Hierapolis, Temple of Apollo

Today we explore the travertines of Pamukkale. This remarkable natural site is made up of white calcium steps that are dotted with bright blue pools and hot springs, creating a magical contrasting landscape.

We then head to the ruins of the city of Hierapolis, which features many temples and other religious sites, earning it the name "The Sacred City". We see its impressive theatre, which is beautifully preserved, as well as the Necropolis, the enormous graveyard.

We continue to the Temple of Apollo. This was built in dedication to the famous Apollo, the Greek god of poetry, music, healing, and medicine. We can also see the beautiful leather goods that are handcrafted by the local people.

OVERNIGHT:

Kuşadası boutique hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 8 Ephesus, Temple of Artemis, carpet-weaving village

Today we head to the ancient city of Ephesus. This ancient landmark has been excellently preserved and restored, and you are able to walk its streets and explore it much as its original inhabitants might have done.

We also visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, before stopping at a carpet weaving village. This is an important traditional craft in Turkey, and we get to see first-hand how the process works.

OVERNIGHT:

Kusadasi boutique hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 9 Mediterranean coast, Pergamum acropolis, Troy

We enjoy a scenic drive today heading north up the Mediterranean coast before we visit the magnificent acropolis of Pergamum. The impressive temples and library here made this a renowned cultural and political centre in its time. Our next stop is the ancient site of Troy, famous for Helen of Troy and the wooden Trojan Horse. We spend the night at a hotel overlooking the Dardanelles Strait near Cannakale.

OVERNIGHT:

Cannakale - 5-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast, Dinner

EXTRAS:

None


Day 10 Gallipoli battlefield site and memorials

After crossing the Dardanelles Strait by ferry, we make a tour of the important World War 1 battlefield sites on the Gallipoli Peninsula, including ANZAC Cove, The Nek, Johnston's Jolly, original tunnels and trenches and the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair Memorials. We'll then drive back to Istanbul to finish the tour.

OVERNIGHT:

Istanbul 4-star hotel

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

None


Day 11 Istanbul, departure

The tour comes to an end today. After breakfast in Istanbul, your time is free until you are transferred to the airport for your departing flight.

OVERNIGHT:

N/A

MEALS:

Breakfast

EXTRAS:

Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour


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Included:
  • All accommodation in 4 to 5-star & boutique style hotels
  • All transport and transfers in AC vehicles
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Entrance fees for sights mentioned in itinerary
  • Services of a local tour guide throughout
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Tipping kitty

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees (e-visa or visa on arrival for most nationalities)
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guide & driver
  • Any other items not mentioned above

Gallery


Dates and Prices

This tour is also available for booking privately for travel anytime through the year, and we can also customise the itinerary to fit your personal requirements. Please contact us for details and prices.

Start Date
End Date
Price (P/P)
Offer price
Note

1st of Nov 2019

11th of Nov 2019

US$1415

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15th of Nov 2019

24th of Nov 2019

US$1415

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10-day tour, misses Gallipoli


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13th of Mar 2020

23rd of Mar 2020

US$1680

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27th of Mar 2020

6th of Apr 2020

US$1680

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10th of Apr 2020

20th of Apr 2020

US$1680

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24th of Apr 2020

4th of May 2020

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8th of May 2020

18th of May 2020

US$1680

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22nd of May 2020

1st of Jun 2020

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5th of Jun 2020

15th of Jun 2020

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19th of Jun 2020

29th of Jun 2020

US$1680

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3rd of Jul 2020

13th of Jul 2020

US$1680

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17th of Jul 2020

27th of Jul 2020

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31st of Jul 2020

10th of Aug 2020

US$1680

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14th of Aug 2020

24th of Aug 2020

US$1680

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28th of Aug 2020

7th of Sep 2020

US$1680

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11th of Sep 2020

21st of Sep 2020

US$1680

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25th of Sep 2020

5th of Oct 2020

US$1680

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9th of Oct 2020

19th of Oct 2020

US$1680

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23rd of Oct 2020

2nd of Nov 2020

US$1680

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6th of Nov 2020

16th of Nov 2020

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Accommodation

The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.

Port Bosphorus Hotel

Port Bosphorus Hotel

Istanbul


This large hotel is found in the Istanbul city centre, near Karakoy and the Galata Tower. It has 111 rooms of different types, some with river views and some family-friendly.

Local rating

Our rating

 Port Bosphorus Hotel Port Bosphorus Hotel

This large hotel is found in the Istanbul city centre, near Karakoy and the Galata Tower. It has 111 rooms of different types, some with river views and some family-friendly. All feature air-conditioning, satellite TVs, a kettle and free toiletries. Hotel facilities include a rooftop terrace, restaurant and bar, free WiFi and free parking.

Gul Konakları

Gul Konakları

Cappadocia


This 4-star hotel is made up of three restored Greek mansions known as the “Rose Mansions”. It is found in one of Cappadocia’s oldest villages, and features two restaurants, a bar, free WiFi, 24-hour room service, and ticketing/tour assistance.

Local rating

Our rating

 Gul Konakları Gul Konakları

This 4-star hotel is made up of three restored Greek mansions known as the “Rose Mansions”. It is found in one of Cappadocia’s oldest villages, and features two restaurants, a bar, free WiFi, 24-hour room service, and ticketing/tour assistance on site. The 19 rooms are air-conditioned with TVs, phones, hairdryers, and free bottled water.

Hilton Garden Inn Konya

Hilton Garden Inn Konya

Konya


This hotel is situated in a convenient location in central Konya, within walking distance of historical and cultural sites and 20 minutes from the airport.

Local rating

Our rating

 Hilton Garden Inn Konya Hilton Garden Inn Konya

This hotel is situated in a convenient location in central Konya, within walking distance of historical and cultural sites and 20 minutes from the airport. Its facilities include a restaurant, convenience mart, business centre, fitness centre, and meeting space for up to 500 guests. Rooms and suites are comfortable and feature TVs, fridges, and complimentary WiFi.

Colossae Thermal Hotel

Colossae Thermal Hotel

Pamukkale


Featuring thermal pools, an outdoor swimming pool and spa centre, this large hotel offers comfortable accommodation just a couple of miles from the ancient city of Hierapolis. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the hotel.

Local rating

Our rating

 Colossae Thermal Hotel Colossae Thermal Hotel

This 5-star hotel is situated close to the ancient city of Hierapolis and the travertines of Pamukkale. It features a full range of facilities, including a spa, business centre, restaurants, bar, fitness centre, and Turkish baths. There are 310 rooms of various types, each well-appointed and with WiFi access.

Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel

Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel

Kusadasi


This 4-star hotel is found in the centre of Kusadasi, directly across from the main beach promenade. It offers views of the Aegean Sea from its roof terrace and some of the rooms. It also features a rooftop pool and bar, conference rooms.

Local rating

Our rating

 Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel Ilayda Avantgarde Hotel

Ilayda Avantgarde is a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Kusadasi. It is right across from the main beach promenade and provides ocean views from the rooftop terrace and several rooms. Facilities include a Starbucks coffee shop, conference rooms, and a rooftop bar and pool. The rooms feature all amenities needed for a comfortable stay.

Kolin Hotel

Kolin Hotel

Istanbul, Turkey


Kolin Hotel is a 5-star hotel found on the seafront in Canakkale, Turkey. 274 spacious, fully-furnished rooms are available, each with modern amenities. The hotel itself boasts a wide range of facilities and services.

Local rating

Our rating

 Kolin Hotel Kolin Hotel

Kolin Hotel is found about 5km away from the city centre of Canakkale, Turkey. It is a 5-star beachfront hotel featuring 274 rooms, some with sea views and others with garden views. Each room has modern amenities and complimentary toiletries. The hotel’s wide range of facilities on offer includes: indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a fitness centre, a Turkish bath, tennis and football courts, 2 restaurants, both rooftop and poolside bars, and a nightclub. 3 rooms have access for disabled guests, while extra beds/cribs can be added to rooms for children.

Options

Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination you‘re visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.

All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.

Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.

Single room supplement (TUSGBT)

Single room supplement (TUSGBT)

Min numbers: 1 person


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Room shares are not available on this tour, so if you are single traveller then you will need to add this option to your booking.

Price from
$345
per person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Same-sex room shares may be available but if not, then you will need to add this option to your booking. It will be refunded later if a room share becomes available.

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Price from
$55
per person

This option adds an extra day to the start of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport arrival transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour

Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour

Min numbers: 1 person


This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Price from
$50
per person

This option adds an extra day to the end of your tour, staying in the same hotel as the main tour itself (subject to availability). Your airport departure transfer is still included. Prices shown are per person and based on two people sharing.

Note: Single room and peak season supplements apply.

Tour Notes

The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.

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  1. Accommodation

Our tours in Turkey use a range of hotels at the local 4 and 5-star level with some boutique style properties also used on some tours. Please check the Accommodation section for more information on the normal hotels used on this tour. This list is given as a guide though and hotels may change from time to time to others of a similar standard.
Accommodation levels and hotels are slightly different in Turkey to general Western standards. We regularly inspect all the hotels we use to ensure that the service you receive is as close as possible to your expectations. Please check your hotel room when you first arrive (hot water, cleanliness etc.), as our rep or your guide will be available to assist in case of any problems.

We will contact you with your arrival hotel details normally a couple of weeks before departure.

Rooming Arrangements: Single, Twin, and Double bedded rooms are available in all of the hotels used on these tours. If you are a single traveller who is happy to share then please let us know and we will aim to pair you up with another travellerer of the same sex. If this is not available then the single supplement will be added to your booking, but will be refunded if we are later available to arrange a share. Room shares are arranged in order of booking.

Check In Times: Official hotel check- in times in Turkey are between 14.00 and 15.00. However, we do always try to ensure that if you arrive early, you can check into your room as soon as possible. We can nearly always get you into your hotel rooms well before midday, but please understand that it is out of our control if the hotel is full and it takes a little longer. You will have full use of the hotel facilities while you wait if there is a short delay.


  2. Transport

Our trips feature a mix of different transport options. We want you to feel like you’re really experiencing the country you’re travelling through, but at the same time we want you to finish journeys refreshed enough to enjoy the next stage of the tour. The distances involved in Turkey mean that we use private vehicles and tourist coaches throughout this tour.


  3. Transfers

All our tours include an airport meet and greet and transfer service on the first day of your tour. This is available from/to both of Istanbul's airports; Istanbul Ataturk (IST) and Sabiha Gokcen (SAW). Our representative will be holding an Encounters Travel signboard with your name displayed for easy identification. If you can't find our representative, our emergency contact numbers are given in your tour confirmation voucher.

No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to incorrect flight details being provided or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.

If your flights arrive/depart before/after the tour starts/ends then we will be very happy to arrange additional accommodation and airport transfers for you. We will aim to book these in the same hotel as the main tour, though this will be subject to availability (upgraded hotels are also available on request). If you do not book your additional accommodation through us, then our arrival/departure service is not included and you will need to make your own airport transfer arrangements.

Welcome meeting: Our group tours will commence with a welcome meeting at 7pm in the reception of your hotel, where you will have the chance to meet your guide and the rest of your tour group. For those arriving after 7pm, details regarding Day 2 activities will be left at reception.


  4. Group Size / Tour Leaders / Guides

We are committed to being a small group operator, as we feel this gives everyone in the group the best chance to get to know their fellow travellers and to hear and make the most of their guide. There’s no point in us providing great guides if you’ve got to peer over 30-40 shoulders to see them! So, we won’t ever put you in a 50-seater coach with 49 other people and just one guide. Instead, we set our Turkey small-group departures to have a maximum of 20 travellers (dedicated Anzac Day tour groups may be larger).

In Turkey we provide a fully trained, local English-speaking guide for all of the sightseeing tours. Our local reps in some of the towns and cities en-route are also at your service. At Encounters Travel we try to use local Turkish guides and reps as much as possible. We feel this gives you the best experience of the country and the sites you are seeing.


  5. Entrance Fees

The tour price includes entrance fees to all the tourist sites mentioned in the itinerary. You will need to cover the cost of entrance to any other extra sites that you may wish to visit.

Camera Fees: Photography is restricted in various ways at different sites. Often flash photography is often forbidden to protect the exhibits and ancient pigments, and sometimes cameras are not allowed in at all. Please respect these rules as they are there partly for your benefit. Tickets are not required for normal cameras, but if you have a video camera, if its use is permitted there will normally be a charge.


  6. Tipping

Tipping or Bahsis (bahk-sheesh) is common practice in Turkey, as a sign of appreciation for services provided for everything from table service in a restaurant to a massage in a Turkish bath. Wages for service staff in Turkey are very low and tips are a necessary supplement to meagre incomes.. Your tour price includes a contribution to various tips that your tour guide and driver will make along the way to ensure the smooth running of your tour.

This tipping kitty does not cover your tour guide or driver though. You may therefore wish to tip them at the end of the time they spend with you.  You should not feel obliged to tip any particular amount, and should consider your personal budget and your satisfaction with the service provided. We are often asked to provide a guide however:

Restaurants and taxis: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. For more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour guide or tour leader. We suggest around GBP 1.50 / EUR 2.0 / USD 2 per person per day for local guides.

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 GBP 1.50 / EUR 2 / USD 2 per person per day is generally appropriate.

Gulet Boat Trips: If you are travelling through Southern Turkey on a Gulet boat trip we suggest GBP 1.50 / EUR 2 / USD 2 per person per day for the boat staff.

Tour guide: As a guideline we suggest around GBP 20-35 / USD 35-50 / EUR 25-45 per person for the whole tour, but this is ultimately up to you.


  7. ANZAC Day Departures

ANZAC Day means many different things to different people. To some it is a true memorial service to pay respects to and remember family members or countrymen who lost their lives defending their homeland in World War I, while to others it symbolises a sense of community or belonging to the New Zealand and Australian way of life. For non Anzac nationals it remains a moving and important ceremonial day that brings thoughts of the sacrifices that previous generations have made for us, wherever we may come from.

Whichever may apply to you, this is a very special event that brings together many thousands of people every year on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsular on the western coast of Turkey.

We run special ANZAC day departures on all of our Turkey tours. The standard itineraries for each tour are adjusted slightly on these departures to coincide with the memorial services and to make the most of your time at Gallipoli. These special departures are indicated on the dates & prices table for each tour. Due to demand, group sizes on these dates may increase to a maximum of 45.

All of our ANZAC departures arrive at Gallipoli Cove early in the afternoon on the 24th giving us enough time to visit the museum and secure space for our groups. We then spend the night outdoors at the Cove waiting for the evocative dawn service to start. Afterwards, depending on the makeup of our group, the Australians will head to Lone Pine and the New Zealanders to Chunuk Bair for their country’s individual memorial service. Rest assured though that these special departures are not just about the ANZAC service. They all have their standard itineraries built around the service so you will still get to experience the history, culture and amazing sites that Turkey has to offer.


  8. Health and Vaccinations

You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination.
You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. In addition, additional courses or boosters normally recommended for Turkey are Hepatitis A and Tetanus.

More information is available here: Turkey
Malaria map - there is low risk malaria in some south eastern regions, not visited on our tours.
Yellow fever certificates are not required.


  9. Passports and Visas

Passports should be valid for at least six months after your departure from the country. Please do not bring an almost full or almost expired passport. Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities.

Most foreign nationals require a visa to enter Turkey, and need to obtain it in advance online through http://www.evisa.gov.tr. Applicants just need to log on to the following link, provide the requested information, (after the application is approved) make online payment and download their e-Visa. More information is available here  http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa


  10. Money - Turkey

The Turkish lira was re-valued at the end of 2004 to become the ‘New Turkish Lira’. The word ‘New’ has now been dropped, and we are back to ‘Turkish Lira’ again (TRY).

It is normally cheaper to convert money to Turkish Lira in Turkey than at home. Using an ATM or a credit card will often get you the best possible exchange rates; the post and telephone office (PTT) and banks offer very reasonable rates, too. Try to use ATM machines that are attached to banks while they are open, so that if your card is swallowed you can go into the bank and get it released back to you.

It is difficult for us to specify the money that you will spend per day, however, as a general rule USD 20-50 per day can provide you with additional meals, tipping, snacks & drinks. Should you wish to purchase many souvenirs or other luxuries, of which there is a diverse range, you will have to budget for these.

A mixture of cash and credit cards are the best forms of currency. Credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, bars and pubs. MasterCard and Visa are most welcomed; American Express cards work at some ATMs and AmEx offices. Credit cards are also useful for cash advances, which allow you to withdraw Lira instantly from associated banks and ATMs throughout Turkey. Cash cards and ATM’s are widespread in most of Turkey including in Istanbul, Canakkale, Selcuk, Marmaris, Pamukkale, Fethiye, Kas, Cappadocia, and Ankara.


  11. Voltage

Sockets are two round pronged and 220 volts (Type C). Universal adaptors are available in most airport shops if you don't have one already. Standard European adapters will work fine, though sometimes they may feel a little loose in the sockets. All hotel rooms have electrical sockets where you can re-charge cameras, phones etc. Hair dryers are normally available on request from the hotel reception if not in your room already.
If you have US appliances (110 volts) you will need a voltage converter as well as a plug adapter.


  12. Time

Turkey Time is GMT plus 2 hours. Daylight saving adjustments of 1 hour are applied, starting at the end of March and finishing at the end of October.


  13. What to take

Luggage: Suitcases, rucksacks or fabric holdalls are all fine to bring with you to Turkey. You should also bring a small daypack/bag to take out during the day. Your main luggage will normally be left in the hotel during your sightseeing trips – you will not need to carry it far, and there are nearly always hotel porters to assist.

Luggage limits: There is no luggage limit for this tour. However, most airlines restrict you to between 20kg and 25kg for your hold luggage and between 5kg and 10kg for hand luggage. Please check with your airline before travelling to the airport.

Clothing: Turkey’s climate changes drastically, with cold winters and hot summers. In western Turkey from late March to May, spring brings with it average temperatures of around 15C, though the weather does gradually warm up with sunny days interspersed with rain showers. From May to the end of October, the climate is hot and sunny, getting cooler as the year progresses. In Central Turkey around Cappadocia, the climate is cold with regular snowfalls from the end of November until late February. With spring the weather warms and the snow disappears altogether, though it still remains cold at night and first thing in the morning. Summer starts from May onwards, with temperature reaching around the mid 30’s. The East of Turkey from late May has warmed up considerably, and stays hot until late September with sunny days, but the night time temperatures start to drop. By the end of October you can expect the first of the winter snows. So you must pack for cool and potentially wet conditions late in the year.
Modesty rates highly in some parts of Turkey, especially for women and in the East, so please ensure clothes are loose fitting and not too revealing. Loose shorts are OK in tourist sites, as are T-shirts, but these should not show too much bare flesh (your shoulders should remain covered). In Eastern Turkey villages, and any mosques throughout the country, legs and arms should be covered. Attidudes are more relaxed in the seaside resorts.

Other items: We also recommend you bring a sun hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, a basic first aid kit, toiletries, money belt, small torch, camera & charger.


  14. Language - Turkey

The official language of Turkey is Turkish. In addition, between 10 per cent and 15 per cent of the population speaks a different mother tongue, usually Kurdish or Arabic. Turkish words are spelled with an adapted Roman alphabet. The language is phonetic; each letter has only one sound that is always pronounced distinctly.

You'll find you won't have much of a problem with the language barrier. English is well communicated by many Turks. Below you will find some important phrases that will have you sounding like a Turk in no time!

Yes = Evet (eh-vet)                                                No = Hayir (hah-yuhr)
Maybe = Belki (behl-key)                                         Please = Lutfen (loot-fen)
Thank you = Tesekkur (tesh-eccur)                          Pardon me = Pardon (phar-don)
Who = Kim (kim)                                                    When = Ne zaman (neh zah-mahn)
Today = Bugun (boo-ghoon)                                   Yesterday = Dun (dhuen)
Tomorrow = Yarin (yar-in)                                        I'm sorry = Ozur dilerim (oz-oor del-eh-rim)
Help = Imdat (eem-daht)                                         Police = Polis (po-lis)
Hello = Merhaba (mehrhaba)                                    Goodbye = Hoscakal (hosh-cha-khal)
Good night = Iyi geceler (ee-yee geh-jeh-lehr)           How are you ? = Nasilsin ? (nah-sil-sihn)
Open = Acik (ach-oek)                                             Closed = Kapali (kap-ah-lee)
Bad = Kotu (koh-too)                                              Good = Iyi (eeh-yea)
Hot = Sicak (sijark)                                                  Cold = Soguk (sooh-ook)
Bill, please = Hesap lutfen (hesarp, lewtfen)                My name is Paul = Ismim Paul (Eas-meem Paul)
I am a vegetarian = Vejeteryanim (vej-e-tar-ian-eam)   I need a doctor = Doktora ihtiyacim (dohk-tor-ah eeh-tee-yajum)
Do you speak English ? = Ingilizce biliyor musun (een-geal-je bee-leh-your-moe-sean)
I don't speak Turkish. = Turkce bilmiyorum (Terkche-bil-me-you-room)
I don't understand = Anlamiyorum (ahn-luh-mee-your-room)


  15. Booking & Payment

If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.


  16. Dates & Prices
We run regular small-group departure on this tour all year round starting on a Saturday. All departures are guaranteed to run with a minimum of 2 travellers. Departure dates and prices are listed on our website and on a separate dates & prices sheet available on request.

  17. Financial Security

We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.


  18. Responsible Tourism

It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

  • Don't prejudge: Things in different countries will almost certainly be different. That doesn't make them worse or inferior, just different.
  • Communicate: Don't expect locals to speak your language. Take the trouble to learn a few words or phrases of the local language. Don't worry about sounding silly. Most locals are patient and accommodating and appreciate you making the effort to communicate in their language.
  • Conserve energy: Be careful not to waste valuable resources. Use local resources sparingly. Switch off lights, air-conditioning and fans when you leave the hotel room and don't waste water. Remove superfluous packaging. Many countries have far less efficient waste disposal systems than ours. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home.
  • Don't litter: No matter how untidy or dirty the country you're travelling in may look to you, avoid littering, as there is no need to add to the environment's stress. Many of the countries we visit have a tough challenge dealing with rubbish and waste. Please consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can (e.g. water bottles).
  • Choose environmentally friendly products: By using environmentally friendly (bio degradable) sun creams, shampoos and detergents you can help reduce pollution.
  • Respect local customs and traditions: As you are a guest in these countries, you should also comply with the local customs. If you are friendly and well mannered, the locals will reciprocate and it will only enhance your experience. It's important to follow dress and behaviour guidelines especially when visiting religious or sacred sites (your tour leader will advise you how best to do this).
  • If a client commits an illegal act the client may be excluded from the tour and Encounters Travel shall cease to have responsibility to/for them. No refund will be given for any unused services.

All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).


  19. Follow Us Online

You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.facebook.com/encounterstravel
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')


  20. Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...

You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK  to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.

Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.

If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.

If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.

IMPORTANT:  We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour.  If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.


  21. Before you travel

It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.

General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.

You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.

Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Travel Aware' campaign

Reviews

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Best of Turkey & Country Reviews

Product Review


Posted 14th of Aug 2018

Very good value for money.

Product Review


Posted 23rd of Oct 2015

Takes in some amazing places: Troy, Ephesus and Cappadocia among others. Amazing, especially the hot air balloon over Cappadocia.