Our head office
Encounters Travel
Leigh House
Varley Street
Leeds, LS28 6AN
West Yorkshire
United Kingdom
+44 203 725 8921
tours@utwtravel.com
Agent log in

TURKEY ENCOUNTERS

Price from
US$1,455
(per person)
Duration
15
Days
Tour Type
Small Group

HIGHLIGHTS

Gallipoli Battlefields, Roman ruins of Ephesus, beaches of Fethiye, Mevlana Museum, Sultanhani Caravansary, North Cappadocia
COUNTRIES : Turkey

Explore the mystical sites of Turkey on this 15-day tour. Starting in Istanbul we travel along ancient trade routes visiting Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Fethiye before arriving in the incredible landscape of Cappadocia.

Private tour option

If our scheduled departure dates don't work for you, or you would prefer not to travel with a group, then we can also run this tour privately for you. Please contact us for more information and prices.

Upon arrival our staff will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Istanbul for the start of your trip.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Istanbul hotel
  • EXTRAS:
    Single room supplement (TUSGTE), Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour

Our trip begins this morning with a full day tour of Istanbul. Lying across two continents this historically important city played an integral role in the development of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. We visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofya museum and explore the former residence of the Ottoman Sultans at Topkapi Palace before ending at the famous Hippodrome.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Istanbul hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

We depart Istanbul this morning for the drive to Gallopoli where we will receive a fully guided tour of this World War I battlefield site. Although home to some of the fiercest fighting during the War today the site is full of poignant memorials set against a subdued wooded landscape. Our tour will include the Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair memorials, ANZAC Cove, Johnston Jolly as well as The Nek and Gallipoli Museum. There will also be chance to see the original trenches and tunnels used during the war before we head to our hotel in Canakkale.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Canakkale hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

This morning we make the short drive to the ancient city of Troy. Lying undiscoverd until midway through the 19th Century the excavations here brought the legend of the Trojan horse and the poems of Homer back to life. We then continue our drive south to the acropolis of Pergamum. A former kingdom we enjoy a full tour of the site including the Temple of Trajan and the famous library which is believed to have rivalled the library of Alexandria and helped shape Pergamum into a renowned cultural and political centre.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kusadasi hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we drive to the Roman site of Ephesus. The city at one time housed 250,000 people and is regarded as one of the best preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. We visit the Temple of Artemis, and explore the ancient marble streets of this ruined Roman city. This afternoon we visit the fruit wine growing village of Sirince and learn about the history of carpet weaving in Turkey.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Kusadasi hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

We travel east this morning to Pamukkale, site of the well known white calcium terraces known as Travertines. Pamukkale translates as 'cotton castles' and the naturally occuring geology here has created cloud like formations unlike anywhere else. We then head to the ancient city of Hierapolis to enjoy a dip in the hot thermal pools lodged amongst ancient columns left by the Romans who used the pools for their therapeutic powers.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Pamukkale hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

We leave Pamukkale this morning and head south towards the Mediterranean coast, visiting the ancient site of Aphrodisias en-route to the coastal town of Fethiye.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Fethiye hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

Today you have the option to relax on a day cruise around the 12 Islands of Fethiye or experience one of Turkey's highlights on an optional day tour to Saklikent Gorge, Turkey's longest and deepest canyon.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Fethiye hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

We have a relaxing morning before taking a late afternoon drive to the resort town of Antalya, visiting the deserted Greek village of Kayakoy on the way.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Antalya hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Today we tour the ancient ruins of Perge with its impressive stadium walls and Aspendos, known for one of the best preserved theatres of Asia Minor, still used today.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Antalya hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Travel back in time today as we follow the ancient Silk Road towards Konya. We learn more about the history of this important trade route with a stop at the Sultanhani Caravanserai before arrivingin Konya where we include a visit to the Mevlana museum - the former home of the original Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cappadocia hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Today we set out to explore the beautiful and surreal landscape of Cappadocia. Unlike nowhere else on earth, this bizarre setting creates a fairytale view full of improbable rock formations and underground villages. Often described as the jewel of Turkey we have a full tour here to explore the subterrenean churches and fortresses used by Christians to avoid persecution over a thousand years ago.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cappadocia hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

Today we trek through the wildly beautiful Ihlara Valley and explore the many levels of an underground city. We will be shown around the subterranean churches and fortresses used by Christians to avoid persecution over a thousand years ago.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Cappadocia hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast, Dinner

We leave early this morning and drive to Turkey's capital Ankara to visit Anitkabir, mausoleum of the famed Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, before returning to Istanbul. An optional morning flight to Istanbul is available from Kayseri in Cappadocia.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    Istanbul hotel
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast

The tour ends in Istanbul today, and your time is free for some last minute shopping or sightseeing until we transfer you to the airport for your departure.

  • OVERNIGHT:
    N/A
  • MEALS:
    Breakfast
  • EXTRAS:
    Extra day in Istanbul - post-tour
Included:
  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
  • All transport and transfers
  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service
  • Services of a local tour leader throughout
  • Entrance fees to various sites
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Tipping kitty

Excluded:
  • International flights (available on request)
  • Visa fees
  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)
  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Any other items not mentioned above
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we use 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.
mercure-taksim-istanbul.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Mercure Taksim Hotel
Istanbul, Turkey

Located in a convenient location just a 10 minutes' walk from Taksim Square and Istiklal Street, Mercure Istanbul Taksim offers soundproofed rooms, an a la carte restaurant and a bar. Free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk is also available.


Located in a convenient location just a 10 minutes' walk from Taksim Square and Istiklal Street, Mercure Istanbul Taksim offers soundproofed rooms, an a la carte restaurant and a bar. Free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk is also available. Dolmabahce Palace is a 10-minute walk away.

Modernly decorated air-conditioned rooms in Mercure İstanbul Taksim are fitted with a flat-screen TV, telephone, electric kettle, safe box and a minibar. Featuring a bath or shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and a bathrobe. Some rooms have views of the sea and the city.

The property has a terrace bar where the guests can enjoy drinks and snacks along with spectacular Bosphorus views.

Mercure offers services such as dry cleaning, laundry and ironing.

Istanbul Museum of Modern Arts is 0.9 miles from the property and Lutfi Kirdar Convention Centre is 1.2 miles away. Kabatas ferry port is within 10 minutes' walking distance and guests can visit Prince Islands. Kabatas Tram Station, a 10-minute walk away, offers easy access to the historic Sultanahmet area, 2.8 miles away. Ataturk Airport is 13 miles away.

buyuk-truva-canakkale.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Buyuk Truva Hotel
Canakkale, Turkey

Buyuk Truva Hotel Canakkale is located in central Canakkale, right on the sea and close to shopping, cafes and restaurants. The ancient city of Troy is just a short drive from the hotel.


Buyuk Truva Hotel Canakkale is located in central Canakkale, right on the sea and close to shopping, cafes and restaurants. The ancient city of Troy is just a short drive from the hotel.

Only 1.9 miles from Canakkale Airport, the hotel offers comfortable and well furnished rooms that are equipped with modern amenities. The hotel has 66 rooms, two of the rooms are specially designed for disabled guests.

Located on the ground floor looking out towards the Sea of Marmara, the main restaurant offers a selection of Turkish and international dishes in relaxed surroundings.

suhan-360-kusadasi.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Suhan 360 Hotel
Kudadasi, Turkey

Offering an outdoor pool and an indoor pool, Suhan360 Hotel & Spa is located in Kusadası. Free WiFi access is available. Each room provides a balcony, a terrace and a minibar. Private bathroom include a bath tub or shower and a hairdryer.


Offering an outdoor pool and an indoor pool, Suhan360 Hotel & Spa is located in Kusadası. Free WiFi access is available.

Each room provides a balcony, a terrace and a minibar. Private bathroom include a bath tub or shower and a hairdryer. You can enjoy sea view and city view from the room. Extras include a safety deposit box and bed linen.

Guests can enjoy various dishes at the restaurant. Special diet menus are also served on request. Beverages and refreshments are available at the bar.

Guests can exercise in the fitness centre.

The property is 1.1 miles from yacht marina. Adnan Menderes Airport is 39.6 miles away. The property organises free shuttle services to the beach nearby twice a day.

hotel-colossae-thermal-pamukkale.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Hotel Colossae Thermal
Pamukkale, Turkey

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


Featuring thermal pools, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa centre, this eco-friendly hotel offers comfortable accommodation just 2.5 miles from the ancient city of Hierapolis. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the hotel. There is also a heliport on site.

The air-conditioned rooms of Spa Hotel Colossae Thermal are tastefully decorated with colourful beddings and carpets. They all feature balconies. Some rooms also offer a private sauna and a hot tub.

At Colossae Thermal, guests can choose from a variety of dishes in the elegant restaurant. Unique tastes of Turkish cuisine are served as an open buffet. Delicious drinks are available at the hotel's bars.

Guests can relax with a Turkish bath or get tanned at the solarium. A range of massages can also be enjoyed at the spa centre.

Pamukkale is only 3.1 miles from Spa Hotel Colossae Thermal with its famous travertines. Denizli Cardak Airport is 43.5 miles away.

marina-vista-hotel-fethiye.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Marina Vista Hotel
Fethiye, Turkey

With its charming marina setting, luxurious Marina Vista Hotel Fethiye offers picturesque views of the Fethiye Bay. Surrounded by Mediterranean gardens, it has an outdoor pool with sea view.


With its charming marina setting, luxurious Marina Vista Hotel Fethiye offers picturesque views of the Fethiye Bay. Surrounded by Mediterranean gardens, it has an outdoor pool with sea view.

Opening out onto private balconies with sea views, the stylish rooms feature marble bathrooms and bright lounges. They boast flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, designer working stations and free Wi-Fi.

Marina Vista Hotel Fethiye serves a daily breakfast buffet. Regional food from the Mugla Province can be enjoyed at the restaurant, offering the option of outdoor dining on a beautiful waterfront.

Leisure facilities include a spa with hot tub, massage treatments and an Ottoman hammam. Guests can relax in the sauna, work out in the hotel's fitness centre or sunbathe in the outdoor solarium.

best-western-khan-antalya.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Best Western Khan Hotel
Antalya, Turkey

This 4-star resort is situated in Antalya's centre and offers a terrace swimming pool overlooking Kaleici and the sea as well as spacious rooms with balconies. Wi-Fi access is free. Complimentary tea is offered throughout the day.


This 4-star resort is situated in Antalya's centre and offers a terrace swimming pool overlooking Kaleici and the sea as well as spacious rooms with balconies. Wi-Fi access is free. Complimentary tea is offered throughout the day.

Best Western Khan Hotel's air-conditioned rooms offer views of the Mediterranean Sea, Kaleici, yacht marina or Bey Mountains or the city. Each has a TV with satellite channels. The en suite bathroom is stocked with bathroom amenities. A complimentary fruit basket is served at the room as well.

Falez Restaurant serves daily buffet breakfast and all-day Turkish specialities. Cocktails and light snacks are available at Best Western's Aspendos Bar, which features panoramic Kaleici, marina and sea views.

Guests can relax in the Best Western Khan's sauna. The Silyon Centre has a variety of fitness equipment. Massage treatments are also available.

Guests can reach Antalya Airport with a 6.2 miles drive. The lively and historic Kaleici area is within walking distance.

blue-valley-cave-urgup.jpg
Local rating
Our rating
Blue Valley Cave Hotel
Cappadocia, Turkey

Located in Ayvali Village of Urgup district, this stone-built cave hotel offers terraces overlooking the rocky valley. The hotel has authentic rooms with stone walls and modern amenities including a LED TV and free Wi-Fi.


Located in Ayvali Village of Urgup district, this stone-built cave hotel offers terraces overlooking the rocky valley. The hotel has authentic rooms with stone walls and modern amenities including a LED TV and free Wi-Fi.

Uniquely decorated, the soundproofed rooms of Blue Valley Cave Hotel have underfloor heating, anti-allergy fabrics and orthopaedic beds. All rooms include a private bathroom with free toiletries. There is also a fireplace, and a bath tub carved into the rock in some rooms.

Daily breakfast is served as an open buffet at Blue Valley. There is also an à la carte restaurant serving Turkish cuisine and unique tastes of the region.

The historical church of Ayvali Village is 1.2 miles from the hotel. Nearby activities include hot air balloon rides, trekking, and horse riding. Nevsehir Airport is 37.3 miles away.

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 (TUSGTE)
Price from
US$729
per person



Single room supplement (TUSGTE)
Min numbers: 1 person

This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. Single travellers happy to share a room with another traveller of the same sex will not need to pay the supplement if a room share is not available.


This option books a single room in all the accommodation throughout the tour. If you are a single traveller and would be happy to share a room, let us know and we will aim to pair you up with another traveller of the same sex. If a room share is available, you will not need to pay the supplement.

Note: The price shown is a low season price. Slightly higher prices may apply during high and peak seasons - the exact price for your dates will be shown on the online booking form and is always available on request.

Extra day in Istanbul - pre-tour
Price from
US$79
per person



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.


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
Price from
US$79
per person



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.


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.

turkey-encounters-map.jpg
Turkey Encounters 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.

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 will wait in the hotel reception for at least 15 minutes to help 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 (i.e. you have not paid the single room supplement), then at the start of the tour you will be allocated a shared twin or triple room with another traveller(s) of the same sex.

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.

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.

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.

We want to give you as much flexibility as possible when it comes to booking your holiday with us. So, to take account of people with varying travel plans, we don’t include your international flights in the main tour price. We are however very happy to book your flights for you, and our ATOL (UK flight sales license) covers all holidays booked together with a flight from the UK.

Please contact us with your preferred dates and departure airport and we’ll give you a selection of airlines, times and fares to choose from. Your airport arrival & departure transfers are included whether you book your flights independently or through us.

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 group departures to have a maximum of 20 travellers (ANZAC Day departures may be larger).

In Turkey we provide fully trained, local English-speaking guides for all of the sightseeing tours. Our local reps in all the towns and cities en-route are also at your service, and will be handling all the practical arrangements for the tour. 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. Please check our website for more details and profiles of some of our most famous local guides.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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

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 can pay your deposit or full balance online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer. 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.

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...

Peru We are able to arrange a comprehensive policy 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 'Eurpoe' 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.

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.

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.

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.
If you book a flight departing from the UK from us with your tour, or if you live in the UK and your tour includes domestic flights, then your entire package is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 10467.
Additional financial protection is also provided through International Passenger Protection for passengers not booking flights.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.

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).

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')

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 'Know Before you Go' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.

'Know Before you Go' campaign

Turkey Encounters dates & 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
04 Jun, 2016 18 Jun, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
11 Jun, 2016 25 Jun, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
18 Jun, 2016 02 Jul, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
25 Jun, 2016 09 Jul, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
02 Jul, 2016 16 Jul, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
09 Jul, 2016 23 Jul, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
16 Jul, 2016 30 Jul, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
23 Jul, 2016 06 Aug, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
30 Jul, 2016 13 Aug, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
06 Aug, 2016 20 Aug, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
13 Aug, 2016 27 Aug, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
20 Aug, 2016 03 Sep, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
27 Aug, 2016 10 Sep, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
03 Sep, 2016 17 Sep, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
10 Sep, 2016 24 Sep, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
17 Sep, 2016 01 Oct, 2016 US$2080 US$1455
30% Discount
based on 2 booking together Book now
24 Sep, 2016 08 Oct, 2016 US$2080 - - Book now
01 Oct, 2016 15 Oct, 2016 US$2080 - - Book now
08 Oct, 2016 22 Oct, 2016 US$2080 - - Book now
15 Oct, 2016 29 Oct, 2016 US$2080 - - Book now
22 Oct, 2016 05 Nov, 2016 US$2080 - - Book now
29 Oct, 2016 12 Nov, 2016 US$2080 - - Book now
Feefo logo
tripadvisor winner 2014 and 2015
TURKEY ENCOUNTERS Reviews
Service

Product

Posted Oct 22, 2014
Service rating : Encounters were ok - Fez who the tour was actually with were great. The communication from Encounters was not great - the first hotel was changed and we were not notified by Encounters, but everyone else on the tour who had booked with Fez or someone else were. We wasted half a day of our limited time in Istanbul travelling first to the wrong hotel, and then again to the new hotel which was 15km out of the city - no where Taksim Square where we were supposed to be. It was not a great way to start our trip. We missed seeing a number of things in Istanbul because of the time wasted travelling to and from the wrong hotel.

Product : Other than the hiccup with the hotel on the first day, the tour itself was excellent. Our guide Yuksil was great - very helpful and knowledgeable. Really well organised and run.
Read More...
Service

Product

Posted Aug 12, 2014
Service rating : Ant Horrobin was extremely helpful throughout the booking process to help us determine which tour we wanted. Beyond the booking I find it difficult to rate Encounters specifically. This tour was provided by a company they contract out to (Fez Travel) which I didn't really know until a few days before the start.

Product : Provided a bunch of feedback to Fez Travel at the end of the tour but will give the cole's notes:

- Was confused when we got into town because the tour was not called "Turkey Encounters" as we purchased but instead "Flying Carpet Tour" run by Fez Travel not Encounters Travel.

- Tour guides were not the ones advertized on the Encounters website but one of Fez' guides.

-Guide was very personable and helpful so far as helping is with what we needed. His English was good enough to this extent however when it came to relaying historical backgrounds of the sites we were visiting his English was only "adequate". He tended to tell us everything he knew (or could communicate) up front and then send us to roam the grounds on our own. I was a little bit envious of some of the tours who had native English speaking guides who were going into more details; especially where dealing with ruins like Ephesus, Aphrodisias, etc.

- On the flip side the local guide got us places I am not sure we would have otherwise visited (i.e, cave family's house).

- Some of the visits to the craft industry shops were awkward. The fashion show / leather stop was out of place (i.e., nobody was interested, the fashion show was a bit contrived, and the sales tactics were a bit agressive given nobody showed any interest in leather).

- All of the hotels were excellent with the exception of one. The Best Western Khan in Antalya does not belong in a higher priced "comfort" tour. It is old and run down. It was the only hotel in which we were given separate beds as a married couple. It also seemed odd that the Istanbul (TRYP by Wyndham) gave us a large room with a nice view on our initial visit (starting the trip) and then a very small room with no window at all on the night before we left (almost as if they were trying to impress us on the way in but it didnt matter so much on the way out after the Fez feedback had already been provided). As a sidenote, the whole selection of Antalya as a two day stop seems poor. There was very little to do in this town and it seemed like more of a stopover required as a result of the time required to get to the next stop in Capadoccia.

- The optional visit to the Turkish bath needs to be better vetted by the tour company and Encounters. The place we were taken to seemed a bit unsanitary and run down. I think we went here because the tour guide knew the family. This should not be a reason for selection of a location. *** - They did not properly separate them men from the women and one of the girls ended up being bathed by one of the male attendants... we were told later that the man was noticably aroused by this exchange which was reported to the tour guide. The tour guide apparently returned and the attendant was summarilly dismissed. I did not let it impact my rating of the tour as the latter bit didnt impact me personally or my wife (other than the cleanliness part) but the fact that that choices in these places is left up to the nepotism/cronyism of specific tour guide is HIGHLY questionable. I would never do something like this again unless it was at a new, clean, and highly rated establishment that I pre-vetted. Sadly I was not given the option to check the location in advance.

- Our bus broke down a couple of times over the course of the tour. Once due to flat tire and once because I believe the clutch or gearbox needed servicing. These resulted in delays and unexpected stops in our itinerary.

- We skipped Ankara as the guide asked us to vote on whether we wanted to get into Istanbul early. We voted for this since we had an early flight the next day. They seemed a litle rushed to get rid of us that day though.



I have brought up a lot of constructive items here but I want to be clear that we did really enjoy the trip and the guide worked very hard to make the tour a good one for the rest of us.
Read More...
Service

Product

Posted Jun 18, 2014
Service rating : This trip was about the same price as competitors but Encounters included the transfers and many meals. Some people may prefer to travel in local buses and stay in small hotels, but Encounters offers a more luxurious experience. On long hot days, the air con on the coach kept me going and I was delighted to take a swim in the hotel pool. The guide was brilliant, funny and engaging and managed to squeeze in some bonus excursions too.

Product : Turkey was much greener and more modern than I expected. The historic sites were impressive and the tour went at the right pace. The hotels were all good quality, in good locations and had some impressive buffets. Of course there are plenty of ancient ruins, but each tells a different story so there were plenty of wow factors. My only regret was not giving myself more time in Istanbul.
Read More...
Service

Product

Posted Feb 13, 2014
Service rating : Company employee that dealt with our booking (Ant Horrobin) was thoroughly professional from start to finish. One potential problem on tour was efficiently and sympathetically dealt with from UK.

Product : Very good tour guide, visits and most hotels good.
Read More...