Passport & visa information
Your passport should be valid until minimum 6 months after departure date. Rules per country can be slightly different, but this covers all.
Visa Turkey: on the website of the ministry of foreign affairs in Turkey there is a list with countries which need visa including a link to apply for an e-Visa. https://www.mfa.gov.tr/countries-whose-citizens-are-allowed-to-enter-turkey-with-their-national-id_s.en.mfa
When booking a vacation, you assume that your time away will be carefree and generally that is the case. However, to cover damage to your luggage or health care expenses, you need to have a travel insurance. Please make sure that your insurance is valid for this part of the world and check coverage. There may be circumstances that cause cancellation of your vacation or a later departure or earlier return. You can take out additional insurance to cover the cost of cancellation in case of a personal emergency (e.g., cancellation costs of air ticket/accommodations, etc.). We leave this choice to you, but can only recommend to take out this insurance. Traveler agrees by registration that the organizer cannot be held responsible for any damages or personal injuries during the tour.
Banks at airports are open when flights arrive. It is best to change only a small amount of money, because the exchange rate is better in the city. The Turkish currency is Lira (TL). There are ATM machines in big cities, but foreign bank cards are not always accepted. Therefore it is advised to bring cash as well. It is recommended not to change your currency too early in your country of residence. The exchange rate of the Lira is subject to strong fluctuations and inflation is high in Turkey. Only bigger businesses, hotels and car rental agencies will accept VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards. To withdraw cash with your credit card is expensive and therefore it is not recommended to withdraw small amounts.
Commercial goods exceeding a value of $ 500 must be declared. Personal items do not have to be declared. There is a 20-pack import and export limit on cigarettes, a 2-litre limit on alcohol and a 1-kg limit on coffee. There are no restrictions on the import of food. Check with your local customs on what you are allowed to take back into your country.
It is forbidden to import or export pornography, loose pearls and antiques.
Do not bring valuable items (such as jewelry) and bring a money belt if you plan to carry cash. Not all hotels have a safety deposit box. To store things in a suitcase which can be locked has proved to function well in the past years. Violent street crime is almost unheard of in the regions where we travel. Nevertheless we recommend that you watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas or markets. Being on the street at night is not a problem, and that goes for both women and men. Locals are out late and many families love to stroll in the streets or go for dinner in a restaurant. In this part of the world people are very helpful, hospitable and very child friendly. Communication in a foreign language might be difficult. In all countries we will travel within safe areas.
There is a difference in time of 2-3 hours with The Netherlands, depending on our summer or winter schedule.
Telephone & internet
Country code Turkey is +9o. Your own (non- European) mobile phone might not always work. Purchasing a local sim card can be an option. It is cheap (also to call abroad) and it can be charged with a prepaid card. Many restaurants and cafeteria have free Wi-Fi. Generally the network coverage is good. Language
Turkish people speak Turkish, some in the southern regions also speak Arab or Kurdish.
Vaccination of DTP, polio, hepatitis A and typhoid is not required, but some can be recommended. Check with your local health organizations on the internet. Medical care is of good quality.
Food & drink
Although water is of good quality, some people have a sensitive stomach. In that case we advise you to drink only bottled water. Food is of excellent quality and salads are safe to eat.
Expenses for food/drinks
Most dinners are included in the tour package but generally lunches are not. According to our criteria, lunch is relatively cheap. Usually there are several small restaurants and supermarkets close to our hotels. Drinks are not included in the package. Prices vary between € 1.50-€ 2,00 for a glass of beer to € 0.60 for a local brew of (Turkish) coffee. A bottle of wine is around € 10.00. Sometimes dinner is not included our program for practical reasons. It is not pleasant to be held to a schedule for a group dinner on a free day. As compensation, a lunch will be offered at another occasion. Tipping is no obligation in all countries, but is always appreciated if you are content with the service.
Standard voltage is 220 volts. USA appliances designed for 110 volts require a voltage converter. Electric outlets use European/Dutch style plugs with two round pins. North American participants should bring a converter.
Turkey has a continental climate with warm to hot summers. In September we can expect this type of weather, while it will cool down at night. A good website to check the weather is www.freemeteo.com it includes a seven-day forecast.
For all countries applies that in the countryside people dress more simply and conservatively. Shorts are only worn by young people. The somewhat longer Capri pants or 7/8 models are common; tank tops are worn in the cities. It is very important to bring comfortable walking/hiking shoes and dance shoes that are comfortable on all types of floors (possibly even outdoors).
Clothing to visit religious sites
When visiting a mosque you need to take off your shoes and women need to cover their head with a scarf, preferably long pants are worn by men.
It is highly recommended to bring a strong sun block, because you can easily get sunburned. Also bring a hat for sun protection and make sure to carry water with you.
Bring all the prescription drugs you believe you will need. Bring enough for the entire stay and leave them in their original marked containers. Bring some basic medication such as ibuprofen, Tylenol or aspirin and anti-diarrhea medication such as Imodium. Bring enough lens cleaning solution for your entire visit and maybe a spare set of eyeglasses. If you are prone to car sickness, please bring medication for it. It will not always be possible to claim seats in the front of the bus. In cities pharmacies and bigger supermarkets carry these items.
During our tour, we will travel in an air-conditioned bus. We try to avoid long hours on the bus, but distances can take longer to travel than expected. In general main roads are in good condition. Driving standards can best be described as creative, unpredictable and sometimes reckless.
Turkey has been home to Judaism, Christianity and Islam for centuries. Nowadays 99% of Turkey’s population are Muslim. Most Turks are Sunni Muslims, but there are Shiite (Shi’a) and Alaouite (Alevi) minorities as well.
Our hikes are aimed at people with a good physical condition that can walk without restrictions. You will require comfortable walking/hiking shoes, because some sightseeing spots can be reached after a short walk on foot.