Eastern Turkey Adventure
Spectacular mosques, rustic Armenian churches and towering stone castles reward those willing to get off the beaten path. From ancient mud brick cities to exotic bazaars and the mysterious fallen stone heads at Nemrut Dagi, this 8-day trip is Turkey at its most fascinating. Travel to the land beneath the snow-capped peak of Mt Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah’s Ark and immerse yourself in the magnificent sights and legendary hospitality of the people in this lesser-known, and lesser-travelled, region of Turkey.
Your Welcome Moment: Meet Your CEO and Group. Stone ruins of Ani visit. Akdamar Island boat trip. Hasankeyf visit. Mardin orientation walk and sights. Nemrut Dagi excursion including Karakus Tumulus, Severan Bridge and Arsameia. Harran beehive houses visit. Golbasi park and Sanli Urfa bazaar guided walk. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Explore ancient mud brick cities, bargain in bazaars, taste regional specialties, visit the mysterious stone heads of Mount Nemrut
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
This is a Basic Level tour. Please be aware Eastern Turkey may not have the same infrastructure you are used to.
Accommodation is quite different to that in the more “developed” areas of Turkey. Hotels tend to be for businessmen or cater to large groups of domestic tourists.
As a result hotels tend to be bigger and the rooms more simple. You can expect all rooms to have ensuite bathroom facilities with western style shower and toilet. Often there will be no shower curtain. Soap and towels are provided.
Reception staff will speak very little or no English but will try their very best to help you. If you expect something very, very simple and plain, you will be well prepared. All part of the Eastern Turkey experience!
Turkey is a predominately Muslim country, with many, many mosques. You should expect to be briefly woken by the dawn call the prayer which is broadcast from loud speakers at every mosque in each town or city. It is hauntingly beautiful and a very important start to the Islamic day.
Please note that while all accommodation has “western style”toilets, virtually all public toilets available throughout this tour will be of the Asian squat variety. You are advised to carry tissues for times when toilet paper is not be provided. Expect to pay to use public toilets in Turkey – usually between 0.50 and 1 TRL.
Public toilets may sometimes not be at the expected level of cleanliness.
According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 15th and June 14th, 2018. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can’t at that time.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 10
Many breakfasts are included as part of your tour. Turkish breakfasts are very different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – when was the last time you had olives for breakfast?
They pretty much universally consist of large slices of fresh “french style” white bread accompanied by slices of tomato, cucumber, white and yellow cheeses, olives, jam and honey. This is accompanied by tea (which a Turk would always choose!) or coffee (which is pretty much always instant coffee)
You will of course want to sample the famous Turkish coffee, but it is usually taken after a big lunch or dinner, or in the late afternoon with a pastry.
While we think these breakfasts are absolutely delicious, some travellers do find them a bit repetitive and enjoy buying market fruit the day before and eating this for breakfast.
…will usually be simple and on the run. They are a great chance to try Turkey’s delicious and healthy array of “fast foods”.
This may include, “gozleme”, a type of Turkish savory crepe, “chorba”, delicious lentil soup, and of course doner kebabs in both beef and chicken varieties. You won’t want to miss the chance to try “pide”, Turkish pizza, and lahmucan- thin crust pizza you fold greenery into
You may also find “kumpir”, Turkish stuffed potatoes.
You can expect to spend around 5-15 TRL for lunch
Most Turks start their dinners with a couple of mezes- small taster dishes such as grilled octopus, aubergine salad, and many more. You could also choose a soup made of fresh local ingredients.
Main courses tend to be based around fresh seafood if you are near the coast (expect to pay around 15 lira for a whole fish)or the ubiquitous kebab- skewers of charcoaled meat which comes on bread with salad. There are plenty of variations of the kebab-many regions have their own speciality so be sure to ask your leader.
You can expect to pay between 15-25 TRL for dinner
Yum- its all about the sugar. Baklava (about 2 TKL a piece for the good stuff) is something of a national obsession and it is believed the best comes from the East. There are endless varieties of pastries and milk based deserts available and you are sure to spend at least some time in a Turkish bakery taste testing.
Don’t miss munching on a simit (0.5-0.75 TKL) , a Turkish pretzel or perhaps some grilled sweet corn (2TKL) to get you through between meals.
Tea, served in small tulip glasses, is the number one beverage of choice in Turkey. It is freshly brewed and a tea bag is a rare thing. Turkish coffee is wonderful thing to try. The national beer is named Efes and is very good (usually 4-5 TKL a bottle) Wine is made in Turkey and is getting better every year. Expect to pay around 6-7 liras for a glass in a restaurant.
Water is approximately 1 TRL for a 1.5 litre bottle, soft drinks and juices are around 2-3 TRL.
Please note it is very difficult to get expresso or filter coffee in Eastern Turkey but of course you can get your caffeine fix with a thick and delicious Turkish coffee.
Alcohol is not readily available at restaurants in Eastern Turkey – do not expect to have a beer with your dinner- but can be purchased from liquor shops or at hotel bars.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip.
Private air-conditioned van, ferry, plane
About our Transportation
On this trip we will travel mainly by road, by private air-conditioned minivan. Two local flights are also included for journeys between Istanbul and Sanli Urfa (approx 2hrs flight time) and Van to Istanbul (approx 3hrs flight time). Please consider limited space for luggage both in our van and luggage weight limits on domestic flights (usually 15-20kg per person), when deciding what to pack. Either a medium wheelie bag or backback would be suitable for this tour.
Local Flights: All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (7 nts).
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the “My Own Room” option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops
Accommodation in Eastern Turkey is quite different to that in the more “developed” areas of Turkey. Hotels tend to be for businessmen or cater to large groups of domestic tourists.
As a result they tend to be bigger and the rooms more simple. You can expect all rooms to have ensuite bathroom facilities with western style shower and toilet. Often there will be no shower curtain. Soap and towels are provided.
Reception staff will speak very little or no English but will try their very best to help you.
Please do inform your CEO if there are any problems with your room to enable them to help you as quickly as possible.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
A taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost around 35 Turkish Lira (USD 23) – NB taxis are more expensive late at night/early morning.
It is possible to take the metro from the airport to Istanbul city centre. Go to stop “ZEYTINBURNU”. From here catch the tramway at “ZEYTINBURNU” point, going towards SIRKECI. Get off at the stop “GULHANE”. You will see Port Shield Pub just on the corner. Take a right, walk straight through the Ebusuut Street and this time take the third right. You’ll see our hotel.
If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, Istanbul airport are no longer permitted to present branded/company signs. G Adventures has been allocated the characters: ‘M55’. Please look for an individual carrying this sign upon arrival at Istanbul airport. The holder of this sign will be responsible for transferring you to your first accommodation. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
METRO & TRAMWAY INFORMATION ON THE WEB
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Turkey)
During office hours: + 90 212 296 80 36
After hours emergency number +90 532 481 51 73 (Yavuz)
G Adventures Turkey Manager – Yaviuz (Istanbul Turkey)
Emergency number: +90 532 481 51 73
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Instructions
Please note that you will not be accompanied by the CEO on the return transfer to Van and flight to Istanbul on Departure Day. Your tour will finish on arrival at Istanbul Airport.
We are able to organise extra nights’ accommodation post-trip in Istanbul should you require them. Please enquire at the time of booking.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20 mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.
Health & Safety:
• Face masks (required)
• Hand sanitizer (required)
• Pen (Please bring your own pen for filling out documents.)
• Rubber gloves
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge or ask your CEO where the closest laundromat is. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation. Visa requirements for your trip will vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. We keep the following information up to date as far as possible, but rules do change and sometimes without warning. While we provided the following information in good faith, it is vital that you check yourself and understand that you are fully responsible for your own visa requirements.
Passengers travelling to Turkey for tourism or trade can purchase an electronic visa prior to entering the country. This electronic visa will replace the “sticker” and “stamp-type” visas issued at Turkish points of entry.
This e-visa can be obtained by visiting the website: www.evisa.gov.tr.
Your passport must be valid for 6 months on the date that you enter Turkey. Length of validity of your visa is dependent on your nationality, but is commonly 3 months.
For country specific visa information we recommend the following link:https://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Turkey is the Turkish Lira (TRY).
Almost all local purchases in Turkey (meals, souvenirs, optional activities, etc) will be paid for in TRY
ATMs are found within main cities in Turkey and will generally accept cards on the Visa and Mastercard networks. It is a great idea to travel with both a Visa and Mastercard if at all possible as while there is no hard and fast rule, some banks seem to only work with one brand of card. Please note, your bank will change a fee for overseas withdrawals.
Cash is recommended for times when ATMs are not accessible. Euros, British Pounds and US Dollars are easy to exchange into Turkish Lira. Please note – while you should bring some cash with you for emergency situations, carrying cash only is a high safety risk. Money on ATM card/s and some cash is the ideal mix.
Cash advances can also be made with some banks but are time consuming and tend to have high fees attached.
Credit cards are in general not very useful in Turkey – they can be used at some larger stores if shopping for big items such as carpets.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is normally included in your tickets, check whit your air travek agent.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides. You may do this individually, or your CEO will offer to collect the money and tip as a group. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from €3-5 per day depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture. Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO or skipper did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline €20-25 per person, per week can be used.
- Women’s Cooperative Visit
- Hammam Visit (60-70TRY per person)
- Göbekli Tepe Archaeological Site Visit (5TRY per person)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
DRINKING WATER: It is advisable to drink bottled water in Turkey.
There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
Like anywhere in the world, major cities have areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your personal belongings.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
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Make every day count by donating $1/day for the length of your trip, and join us in empowering the communities you will visit when you travel. 100% of your donation goes directly to Planeterra projects.
While visiting mosques and other religious monuments you should dress modestly, cover your shoulders and you shouldn’t wear short shorts or skirts. Outside of Istanbul and the more touristic centres in Turkey, local dress is more conservative and as a matter of respect we recommend that both men and women dress modestly in loose-fitting clothes with shoulders covered.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout.
PRODUCT_LINE: ETET, ID: 22876