Fantastic Greece & Turkey by Gulet Trip Notes

Trip Overview

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Discover Fantastic Greece and Turkey over 17 days! Stroll through the famous ancient capital Athens before ferrying to the famous Greek island Mykonos. Swim by beaches of black and red sand, and enjoy authentic cocktails in the picturesque island of Santorini. Then experience wonders of Turkey starting with the capital of culture Istanbul. Drive to the battlefields of Gallipoli, ancient ruins of Ephesus and embark on a 3-day gulet cruise in Fethiye. Meet the fascinating white-washed pools of Pamukkale and magical fairy-chimneys of Cappadocia before flying back to Istanbul.

Duration : 17 Days

Destination : Greece/Turkey

Start/Ends in : Athens/Istanbul

Group Size :13-35 People

Age Req. : 18+

Trip Theme : In-Depth Explorer, Sailing

Hotels : 5 & 4 & 3 Star

Departs : May to September

Why you will love this tour

  • * Get a taste of history and Island living in Greece. Then visit all the unmissable gems and sail the pristine bays of Turkey on this 17-day adventure from Athens to Istanbul.
  • * This tour includes an international flight from Athens to Istanbul and domestic flight from Cappadocia to Istanbul to save on discovery time.
  • * Kick-start your adventure in Athens, exploring iconic sites and learning of the ancient myths and legends from the Acropolis, Temple of Zeus and more on a guided Athens city tour.
  • * Spend four nights in the Greek Islands – Soaking up plenty of sunshine, seafood and free time to explore the white-wash buildings and quaint towns of Mykonos and Santorini.
  • * Enjoy the pristine bays and turquoise waters of Fethiye, cruising in a premium gullet with ensuite facilities for 3 days with all meals covered.
  • * Enjoy an extended stay in the Turkish Capital of Istanbul, witness the breath-taking landscapes of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys and get your swimsuit ready for a day of bathing in the natural, white springs of Pamukkale.
  • * Visit the historical heartlands of Turkey, including the shores of Gallipoli and ancient cities of Troy, Pergamum and Ephesus.
  • * Shape your holiday the way you want with optional extras; such as hot-air ballooning over Cappadocia, a day trip to Delos Island, quad-biking or volcano tour in Santorini, boat cruise on the Bosphorus or a Turkish bath experience.

Arrival Details

The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.

Meeting Point:

The meeting point for the Fantastic Greece & Turkey by Gulet tour is:

The President Hotel – ATHENS

Address : Leof. Kifisias 43, Athina 115 23, Greece

Phone : +30 21 0698 9000

Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36

Finishing Point

The finishing point for the Fantastic Greece & Turkey2 by Gulet tour is:

Istanbul Airport

Highlights

Mykonos: Greece’s most famous with blue flag beaches, whitewashed streets, and vibrant nightlife. You won’t want to leave the ‘The Island of the Winds’!

Santorini: The most beautiful sunset in the world… This volcanic island has unique scenery with its multi-colored cliffs and beaches.

Athens: You will fall in love with the perfect combination of culture, history, and the dynamic contemporary life in one of the oldest cities in the world.

Istanbul: Istanbul is a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Its Old City reflects the cultural influences of the many empires that once ruled here.

Blue Mosque: The exterior features a beautiful cascade of domes and six minarets and blue Iznik tiles adorn the interior giving the building its unofficial but commonly used name.

Topkapi Palace: Home of the Sultans, the heart of the Ottoman Empire… Roam through the royal palace of the Ottomans and follow in their footsteps to see their most valued treasures.

The Hagia Sophia: The Hagia Sophia, among the Seven Wonders of the World, awaits you with all its magnificence. The hundreds of years old structure will fascinate you on sight

Cappadocia: A region of exceptional natural and man-made wonders. Take the chance to discover underground cities carved into the rock, fairy chimneys, and many more…

Pamukkale: Home of the world-famous travertines, the cotton castle. You will witness the unusual and beautiful scenery just near the ancient city of Hierapolis.

Asklepion: The Asklepion is a famed ancient medical center built in honor of Asclepius, the god of healing. It was also the world’s first psychiatric hospital.

Ephesus: The best-preserved ancient town in Turkey, Ephesus embarks you on a journey to ancient times while roaming the streets. Celcius Library is the most important remains of it.

Troy: Troy is the name of the Bronze Age city attacked in the Trojan War. The legendary city where you can outline layers of ruins of cities built on top of each other.

Gallipoli: Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair, Anzac Cove, Johnston’s Jolly, North Beach, Ari Burnu, Hell Spit, Brighton Beach, Shrapnel Valley, Artillery Road, Quinn’s Road and more…

Dalyan: Home of the famous Caretta Caretta turtles. Take the most popular mud bath in Turkey, and then a fantastic boat trip is to take you to Iztuzu beach.

Fethiye: Fethiye is the perfect launching pad to explore the many tourist attractions and things to do along Turkey’s Turquoise Coast. The town has surrounding beaches.

Itinerary

Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.

Welcome to Greece! Meet in the lobby around 7:00pm for an informal meeting with your guide and other tour members. Afterwards, join us for an optional group dinner to get to know your new travel mates.

Accommodation : The President Hotel – 4 Star

Included Activities :

Welcome Meeting

Optional Activities: Group Dinner

Let’s start our tour in Greece’s capital, Athens, which is one of the world’s oldest cities with history spanning back over 3000 years and is considered the birthplace of Western Civilization. Take a step back in time and explore an amazing array of historical and cultural sites in our city tour including: the National Library, the Academy, Constitutional Square and Parliament, The Temple of Zeus, and of course, the iconic Parthenon and Acropolis. The night is free for you to explore more of this incredible city.

Accommodation : The President Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Athens City Tour

Optional Activities :

Acropolis – EUR 20

Rise and shine, we have an early start to catch the ferry from Athens to Mykonos. In the afternoon, you will meet with your tour leader and your fellow travellers to explore Mykonos town, and its white-washed houses.

Accommodation : Giannoulaki Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Orientation Walk in Mykonos Town

Optional Activities :

Group Dinner

The day is yours to soak up the sunshine, swim in the sea, or chew through your memory card taking pics of cute windmills and quaint streets. Or discover the birthplace of Apollo by taking an optional tour to Delos Island. Tonight, hit the bars and restaurants and dance the night away!

Accommodation : Giannoulaki Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Optional Activities :

Delos Island Tour – EUR 50

Next up: Santorini! After our ferry ride, we will wander through the town of Fira to get our bearings. See why the blue door houses, white church domes make Santorini the iconic postcard town of Greece. Santorini is formed from volcanic activity, and from the caldera witness the most epic sunset and breath-taking views.

Accommodation : New Haroula Hotel – 3 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Orientation Walk in Santorini

We’ve got a free day today. Relax on the red or black sand beaches, wander the streets and browse through the shops of the main town or take an optional quad biking tour. Explore the island’s volcano and check out an active crater and hot springs in our optional volcano tour. The choices are endless!

Accommodation : New Haroula Hotel – 3 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Optional Activities :

Quad Biking – EUR 35-55
Wine Tasting – EUR 30
Volcano Tour – EUR 20

Today we will take a ferry from Santorini to Athens and then fly to Istanbul from there. Once we land, keep your eyes open for the Travel Talk sign, as we pick you up from the airport and take you to our Istanbul hotel. It’s a free evening in the magnificent city of Istanbul aka Constantinopolis.

Accommodation : Ottoman Legacy Hotel – 5 Star

Meet in the hotel lobby at 6:30pm for an informal meeting with your group and guide. Until then, you can start to explore Istanbul like climbing to the top of the Galata Tower for epic views or splash some cash at the Grand Bazaar. After the meeting, join in an optional group dinner at a local restaurant to get to know your new travel mates.

Accommodation : Ottoman Legacy Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities : Welcome Meeting

Optional Activities: Group Dinner

After breakfast, we begin to experience the magnificence of Istanbul. We will stroll through the historical heart of the old city, making stops along the way to the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, majestic Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia. In the afternoon take an optional cruise down the Bosphorus river and see the epic skyline.

Accommodation : Ottoman Legacy Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Sightseeing of Blue Mosque
Sightseeing of Hagia Sophia
Sightseeing of Topkapi Palace Museum

Optional Activities : Bosphorus Boat Cruise – EUR 10

Entrance Fees :

Blue Mosque – Free
Hagia Sophia – Free
Topkapi Palace Museum 320 TRY

Today we depart for the shores of Gallipoli. A place of important significance for Aussies and Kiwis, we will visit the beach and cemeteries at ANZAC Cove, before paying our respects at memorial sites Chunuk Bair and Lone Pine.

Accommodation : Kolin Hotel – 5 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast, Dinner

Included Activities :

Sightseeing of Anzac Cove
Sightseeing of Beach Cemetery
Sightseeing of Lone Pine
Sightseeing of Chunuk Bair
Sightseeing of War Trenches

You may of heard of Troy from Greek mythology or maybe just watched the Brad Pitt movie, but now you will visit the ruins and archaeological site of the city of Troy, and of course the famous wooden horse. Spend the afternoon in the the seaside town of Kusadasi.

Accommodation : Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast, Dinner

Included Activities :

Sightseeing of Troy Ancient City

Entrance Fees : Troy Ancient City – 100 TRY

Our first stop today is the spectacular, well-preserved ancient city of Ephesus. Ephesus was cited in the book of Revelations, and historians believe the Gospel of John was written here. Famed for the Temple of Artemis which was completed around 550 BC and is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. In the afternoon we will depart for Fethiye where we will embark on our traditional Turkish gulet boat and sail to the amazing Yassica Islands for a swim. We will have dinner and stay overnight on our boat.

Accommodation : Turkish Traditional Gulet

Meals Included : Breakfast, Dinner

Included Activities :

Sightseeing of Ephesus Ancient City

Entrance Fees : Ephesus Ancient City – 200 TRY

After breakfast at Yassi Islands we will cruise to Tersane for a swimming break and lunch. We will then sail to Bedri Rahmi Bay for another swimming stop.  We’ll sail to yet another amazing spot at Sunken Bath area for dinner and place for our Gulet to spend a night. This place is also known as Cleopatra Bay or Sunken Bath Bay, due to the beautiful underwater ruins of an old bath.

Accommodation : Turkish Traditional Gulet

Meals Included : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included Activities :

Gulet Cruise on the Mediterranean
Bedri Rahmi Bay
Cleopatra/Sunken Bath

Another day in paradise! After breakfast, we will anchor at Boncuklu Bay for our last swimming break and lunch. We will the make our way to Fethiye for you to explore its shops and buzzing atmosphere. After dinner back on the boat, get amongst Fethiye famous nightlife.

Accommodation : Turkish Traditional Gulet

Meals Included : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included Activities :

Gulet Cruise on the Mediterranean
Boncuklu Bay
Fethiye Marina

It’s time to get your cameras out, because today is a photographers dream! Today we will visit Pamukkale, or ‘cotton castle’ in Turkish. Pamukkale is a natural site that contains hot springs and travertine, giving the appearance of terraces made by carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Spend time bathing in its pools, or explore the natural and unusual landscape.

Accommodation : Hierapark Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast, Dinner

Included Activities :

Sightseeing of Pamukkale White Terraces

Entrance Fees: Pamukkale White Terraces – 200 TRY

Today we sit back and relax on the coach, as we head to Cappadocia. Watch the amazing Turkish scenery unfold before us and see small towns and villages as we pass on by. In the afternoon, we will visit Derinkuyu Underground City, a city complete with a church, wells, food stores, and even stables which is all located 60m under the ground. End the day with an optional traditional Hamman (Turkish bath).

Accommodation : Avrasya Hotel – 4 Star

Meals Included : Breakfast, Dinner

Included Activities :

Sightseeing of Derinkuyu Underground City
Sightseeing of Ihlara Valley

Optional Activities :

Turkish Bath Experience – 25 EUR

Entrance Fees :

Derinkuyu Underground City – 100 TRY

Rise and shine, it will be an early start for our optional sunrise hot air balloon ride over the stunning landscapes and fairy chimneys of Cappadocia. Or if preferred enjoy a leisurely start to the morning before we all fill up on breakfast. We will explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Göreme, and tick off bucket list sights along the way including Göreme Musuem, Pigeon Valley, Uchisar and Cavusin. In the afternoon we will visit local handicraft manufacturers and learn about traditional art. In the evening we fly to Istanbul, your tour ends in Istanbul Airport at 9:30pm, please book your flights accordingly.

Meals Included : Breakfast

Included Activities :

Goreme Open Air Museum Visit
Sightseeing of Cavusin
Sightseeing of Pigeon Valley
Sightseeing of Uchisar

Optional Activities :


Hot Air Ballooning – 220 EUR

Entrance Fees :

Goreme Open Air Museum – 150 TRY

Inclusions & Exclusions

The tour price covers the following services:

Accomodation : 5 & 4 star hotels and gulet cruise in Turkey, 4 & 3 star hotels in Greece

Transfer : Transfers from the ferry ports to the hotels and from hotels to the ferry ports

Meals : 16 breakfasts | 2 lunches | 7 dinners

Transportation : A/C coach, economy class ferry, flight from Greece to Turkey.

Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licensed by the Ministry of Tourism

What is NOT included in the tour price?

  • Any flights not mentioned above
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not stated above
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips & gestures
  • Entrance fees to the sights and museums
  • Optional activities
  • Other services not stated in the itinerary

Hotels & Accommodation

Please note that the hotels are subject to change depending on the group size and availability. Hotels of similar standards will be used where available in case of a change.

Solo travellers will be roomed with another solo traveller of the same gender in a twin or triple room or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Solo rooms are not available on gullets. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.

PRESIDENT HOTEL – ATHENS – 4 Star

Located in the center of Athens and 500 meters from Panormou Metro Station, President Hotel offers comfortable accomodation and a beautiful rooftop terrace with a swimming pool.

GIANNOULAKI HOTEL – MYKONOS – 4 Star

Giannoulaki Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the peaceful area of Glastros, near Mykonos Town (Chora). The hotel is situated in a wonderful spot offering a spectacular view of the Aegean Sea.

NEW HAROULA HOTEL – SANTORINI – 3 Star

New Haroula hotel is located in the center of Fira, the capital of Santorini. The hotel offers an outdoor pool in the rooms and a balcony overlooking the pool or the bougainvillea garden.

LEGACY OTTOMAN HOTEL – ISTANBUL – 5 Star

The hotel continues its deep meaning that coming from its history which is adjacent to the most important historical monuments of the city, is the only five-star hotel in the region.

RAMADA HOTEL & SUITES BY WYNDHAM – 4 Star

Ramada Hotel & Suites Kusadasi in Kusadası has 5-star accommodation with a private beach area, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. The property features a bar.

HIERA PARK DELUXE HOTEL – PAMUKKALE – 4 Star

This hotel is located in the Karahayit region which is famous for its mineral hot waters and this hotel offers absolute relaxation with its hot thermal pools & spa center.

AVRASYA HOTEL – CAPPADOCIA – 4 Star

This is a very special place in Cappadocia which has been shaped by the magic hands of nature. The hotel is in the intersection of the real world and the world of fairies. Also in a very good location.

KOLIN HOTEL – CANAKKALE – 5 Star

The 5-star hotel in Gallipoli is a perfect place to relax and prepare for the upcoming big tour. The large swimming pool and the delicious open buffet add up to the comfortable rooms they offer.

Distances

Please find below the distances between the sights visited in Turkey and the approximate driving times. We will always strive to take a short break every few hours to enable passengers to stretch their legs, purchase snacks and use wash facilities during long drives.


Istanbul – Gallipoli: 295 km – 5 hours

Gallipoli-Troy-Pergamum-Selcuk:
382 kms 11 hours.

Selcuk-Pamukkale: 193 kms 3.5 hours

P.kale-Cappadocia: 630 kms 11 hours

Cappadocia-Ankara : 287 kms 3.5 hours

Ankara-Istanbul : 443 kms 5 hours

Pamukkale- Istanbul : 664 kms 9 hours

Marmaris- Fethiye : 126 kms 2 hours

Selcuk-Fethiye: 288 kms 4.5 hours

Marmaris-Pamukkale: 211 kms 4 hours

Budgeting

Please note that entrance fees to sights and optional activities are not included in the tour price. Optional activities are not operated by Travel Talk and may require a certain number of attendees to run. Your guide will be happy to inform you further about the available optional activities at the start of your tour. Optional activities are also listed under each day in your tour itinerary.

Entrance Fees

Istanbul

Topkapi Palace — 320 TRY

Blue Mosque — Free

Hagia Sophia — Free

Cappadocia

Underground City — 100 TRY

Goreme Museum — 150 TRY

Pigeon Valley — Free

Pamukkale

White Terraces — 200 TRY

Ephesus Ancient City — 200 TRY

Canakkale

Asklepion Ancient City — 90 TRY

Troy Ancient City — 100 TRY

TOTAL 1160 TRY (approx. 65 USD)

Optional Activities

Please note that optional activities are not operated by Travel Talk.

Quad Biking — 35 EUR

Delos Island Tour — 50 EUR

Volcano Tour — 20 EUR

Speed Boat Trip — 42 EUR

Hot-Air Ballooning — 220 EUR

Turkish Night Show — 30 EUR

Turkish Bath Experience — 30 EUR

Bosphorus Cruise — 10 EUR

Turkey

Personal Spending

The Turkish Lira (TRY) is the currency of Turkey. While every person has different spending habits, we have estimated your average daily expenses to help out with the planning. Please find below in USD the approximate spending to expect for meals not included and more.

Meals

Lunch at restaurant: US$ 5-7

Dinner at restaurant: US$ 10-15

Simit – Turkish Bagel: US$ 1-2

Sandwich at a Stall: US$ 0,15

Drinks

Bottle of water: US$ 0.15

Coffee: US$ 1-1.5

Tea: US$ 0.5-1

Bottle of beer: US$ 2-3

Tipping

Tipping good service is common in Turkey, typically ~ 10% for a restaurant meal. No need to tip taxi drivers, however you can round up the fare for convenience. Your guide and driver would also appreciate this kindof traditional gratitude at the end of your tour.

Shopping

With plenty of markets, stores, shops and bazaars to choose from you’re able to discover a wide range of beautiful unique crafts, textiles, jewellery, clothing and furniture. Turkey is also home to the Grand Bazaar; the biggest old covered bazaar in the world, with over 3,000 shops of all kinds. Haggling is also part of the experience, so brush up on your skills. Turkey is especially known for its:

Pottery & Ceramics

Famous for its fertile lands and other-worldly landscape, the volcanic soil of Goreme, Cappadoccia has allowed for marvellous works of pottery for centuries. A perfect souvenir that comes in many shapes and sizes! Prices may range from 1 to 100 USD.

Hand-woven carpets

Famously known for its high-quality hand-woven carpets, it might be the best souvenir to give yourself or to a loved one… Prices may range from 100 to 1000+ USD.

Evil-eye Talisman

Believed to ward of the evil, these bright blue eyes of glass (Nazar Boncugu) are found in many sights visited and come in various sizes as decorative items, keychains and more. Prices may range from 0.50 to 50 USD.

Opening Hours

There are no hard and fast rules for opening hours in Turkey, but banks and main post offices are generally open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 12.00 midday and 1.30pm to 5.30pm. Shops are usually open from around 9.00am to 6.00pm, later in bazaars and shopping malls. They are usually closed on Sunday.

Greece

Personal Spending

Greece’s currency is the Euro (EUR / €) and credit or debit cards are accepted across all major Islands. However, on the smaller Islanders cash remains king! While every traveller’s spending habits may differ slightly, we have estimated the average daily expenses to help with budgeting for your next trip. Here you
will find the average cost for a meal or drink and advice for best practice in tipping.

Meals

Lunch at restaurant: US$ 10-15

Dinner at restaurant: US$ 15-20

Sandwich at a Stall: US$ 3-5

Crepes : US$ 1-2

Drinks

Bottle of water: US$ 0.6

Coffee: US$ 3-4

Tea: US$ 1-2

Bottle of beer: US$ 4-6

Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory in Greece but is appreciated for good service. In up-market restaurants, we suggest adding a ~5-10% tip to your bill for good service. Meanwhile, tipping porters or taxi drivers by a Euro or two is also recommended. Your Guide and Driver would also appreciate tipping as a sign of gratitude at
the end of your tour

Shopping

Whether you prefer to shop at markets, boutiques or retail malls – Greece has it all! This popular tourist destination provides travelers with an abundance of options for purchasing timeless souvenirs to reminisce on their trip. While traditionally haggling was once commonplace across Greece, tourism has now brought standardization to pricing, meaning shoppers can score beautiful Greek handicrafts without the tiresome back and forth of bargaining.

Kompoloi

The Kompoloi, or worry beads, are a staple in Greek tradition, made from a strong of resin beads tied together with string so they can be turned through your fingers as you ponder life. They make for a fantastic souvenir for friends or family as they’re sold all over the country and provide a slice of ancient Greek culture.

Mati Talisman

The Evil Eye Talisman, called Mati in Greek, is integral to Greek culture and folklore. The Mati eye is considered to protect its user and their family from evil spirits and jealousy. You’ll find it all over the country from souvenir stands to jewellery stores. Prices for a glass Mati charm start at approximately 3 USD.

Ouzo

Popular since the 14th century when Greek monks began to drink the potent substance, Ouzo is an Aniseflavoured, local liquor which can be purchased all over Greece for very cheap! A 7cl bottle of good quality Ouzo starts at about 15 USD.

Essential Information: Turkey & Greece

Passport & Visas (Turkey)

Most nationalities require a visa to enter Turkey, which can be applied for online via www.evisa.gov.tr. Travellers from the Australia, Canada, Ireland, South Africa and the USA can apply for a 90-day e-visa online. Although this process usually takes only several minutes, we recommend to obtain it at least 2 weeks before you arrive in Turkey.

Citizens of the following countries do not require a visa if staying for less than three months: United Kingdom, New Zealand, France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland.

Passport validity entry requirements: Travellers entering Turkey must carry a passport or travel document valid for at least 60 days from the expiry date of their visa.

This information is provided as a guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change. Please note, visa costs can change at any time and with little notice depending on the political climate of the region. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling. For more details, check out our Turkey travel advice.

Passport & Visas (Greece)

Greece is part of the European Union and Schengen area, and European citizens do not require a tourist visa. Citizens of the following countries do not require a tourist visa if staying for less than three months: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan.

Passport validity entry requirements change per nationality. Passport validity entry requirements: The validity of the passport or travel document must be longer than
the duration of stay. We generally recommend to have a passport or travel document that is valid for at least 6 months’ from your travel date.

This information is provided only as a guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change at any time and with little notice. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling

Travel Advice

We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Turkey and Greece, and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office. For the latest travel advice from UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey and https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece

We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:

Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/

New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

USA – https://travel.state.gov/

Travel Insurance

All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance

Health & Safety

The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels

Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.

Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.

Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.

Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.

Weather

Istanbul has wet, cold and often snowy winters and has the highest rainfall from November to February. Spring in Istanbul is damp with mild temperatures and it is relatively dry and hot in the summer. The city also tends to be windy. The southern, coastal regions of Turkey are warm and pleasant during the summer. In winter the temperatures rarely fall below 7°C making the Turquoise coast an ideal destination even in early spring and late autumn. Due to the high altitude of the central Anatolian plateau, Cappadocia can be cool in the evenings, even in the summer, but it remains hot during the day – often in the mid-thirties. Spring and autumn can be very crisp and suitable clothing is advised. Please find below the average temperatures for each month in different parts of Turkey.

Check out our weather guide for the best time to visit Turkey.

visit Turkey

Greece is well known for its mild Mediterranean climate with two distinct seasons: hot and dry from April to September or mild and wet from October to March. The summer months of July and August are considered the best and busiest time to visit with temperatures sitting comfortably around the mid to high 30s during the day and rarely ever dropping below 20°C in the evenings. During these months, the days are usually cooled by prevailing north winds, especially on the islands. By late October, ferry services to the islands begin to cut back as facilities close for the winter. These cooler months make for a pleasant time to explore mainland Greece and the capital.

Check out our weather guide for the best time to visit Greece.

Money Matters

The Turkish Lira (TRY) is the local currency. Although you can pay with USD and EUR in some places, you’ll always get a better deal paying in the local currency.

Major credit/debit cards are widely accepted in Turkey. Some shops at small towns and rural areas may not accept cards, we would recommend carrying some cash with you for small purchases, just in case. ATMs can be easily found in many places in the cities however are not as common in rural areas. Avoid changing the bulk of your money at the airport as the exchange rates are usually more favourable in the major cities. Your tour leader will be happy to help if you need any assistance!

Greece’s currency is the Euro (EUR / €) and credit or debit cards are accepted across all major Islands. We recommend to carry some cash for small purchases from simple vendors and shops. We recommend you do not exchange bulk sums of money at the airport, as the exchange rates are usually more favourable in the major cities. Your tour leader will be happy to help if you need any assistance.

Please remember that everyone has different spending habits, some prefer to spend more on souvenirs, some on experiences and others on a night out! Make sure to budget your trip to your spending habits for shopping, drinking, and tipping.

Tipping is not compulsory, but is commonplace, with locals and tourists alike tipping good service. We recommend tipping ~10% of the total bill when dining in a restaurant, if a service fee has not already been applied. However, simply rounding up the fare in a Taxi for convenience is acceptable and appreciated also. Your guide and driver would also appreciate this kind of traditional gratitude at the end of your tour.

Ferry Timetable

Eating & Drinking (Turkey)

The Turkish love to eat out and it’s easy to see why! Turkish cuisine is filled with a unique blend of Eastern European, Central Asian and Middle Eastern flavours. Don’t let the clichés fool you; there is more to Turkish cuisine than shish kebabs!

No one does breakfast, or Kahvalti, quite like the Turkish. Expect to see the table covered in a variety of meze dishes and gastronomic delights served on small plates including cheeses to olives, eggs. breads and pastries. There are two common restaurant styles in Turkey – A-La-Carte and ‘ready meal’. Ready meal restaurants offer a range of pre-prepared, buffet-style dishes and are a fantastic opportunity to sample a wide variety of traditional cuisines for reasonable prices. Meanwhile, in more upmarket restaurants, we recommend sampling a range of ‘Meze’ platters (appetizers) to get a taste for the unique local tastes. Searching for authentic dishes to your taste can be a challenge with so many incredible options, so here’s a few must-try dishes to get you started in Turkey. For more, check out our Turkish food guide.

Gozleme: Thin savoury Turkish pancakes filled with cheese, meat, mushroom, spinach or potato.


Pide: A savoury bread baked with feta cheese, parsley, and mozzarella, sprinkled with nigella seeds. You can also fill with lamb which is like Lebanese lamb fatayer


Simit: Bread ring studded with sesame seeds. Sold in bakeries and by street vendors.

Cig Kofte: A simple snack made from cracked wheat mixed with raw meat, tomato paste and lots of spices. Usually served on lettuce leaves with lemon juice, it is a spicy, crisp, and refreshing flavour

Adana Kebabs: Similar to the widely popular Shish and doner kebab, Adana is a spicy minded meat kebab sprinkled in purple sumac herb.

Baklava: Don’t forget to save room for traditional dessert… A deliciously rich, buttery, sweet dessert made from phyllo dough, finely ground pistachios, butter, and a syrup made from sugar, water and lemon juice.

Kadayif: Shredded pastry dough filled with nuts and drenched in syrup.

Lokum (Turkish Delight): A family of confections based on a gel of starch and sugar. Premium varieties consist largely of chopped dates, pistachios, hazelnuts, or walnuts bound by the gel and flavoured with rosewater.

There is a common misconception that Turkish Coffee is the nation’s traditional drink, brewed thick and powerful yet drank in just a couple of short sips. However, Tourists are often surprised to learn that tea (cay) is far more popular amongst locals. It is served in a small fluted glass with a small spoon and saucer. There are various flavours of tea to try from the traditional to sweet apple and lemon. You’ll also find a wide variety of alcoholic drinks on offer with Beer (bira) the most popular. Local beer brands include Efes and Tuborg. While ‘Raki’ is the national aperitif served with ice and water.

Eating & Drinking (Greece)

While most eat to live, the Greek live to eat! Eating out in Greece is an experience in itself as the tavernas, restaurants and bars come to life with atmosphere after dark. The food in Greece favours simplicity and fresh local produce and eating in a restaurant or taverna is still largely affordable for both locals and tourists, alike. Greeks generally eat quite late in the evening, rarely venturing out before 9.00pm. From the remote villages to famed Greek islands and bustling metropolis of Athens, the variety of dishes and delicacies of the Mediterranean will satisfy even the most demanding traveller’s taste buds. We completely understand that searching for unique and authentic dishes can often be overwhelming if you are not a local, so here is a few must-try dishes to get you started in Greece. For more, check out our Greek food guide.

Tzatziki: Few sauces are as classic or iconic as this. Tzatziki consists of thick strained yogurt, garlic, olive oil and fresh dill and is served with almost any meal.

Gyros: Greek’s answer to fast, cheap, and tasty food! Gyros consists of meat that is roasted vertically on a turn spit that is known as a Gyro. The slices of gyro are then placed inside a pita with various salads including onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and potato chips. Finished with tzadziki, of course.

Moussaka: The popular Greek Moussaka is served in almost all tavernas and consists of layered eggplant, spiced and minced meat and creamy béchamel sauce.

Grilled Octopus: The Greek Islands are arguably the best place in the world to try char grilled Octopus.

Kalamarakia Tiganita: More commonly known as fried calamari, this snackable seafood delicacy is deepfried rings of squid served hot with a slice of lemon. Perfect for a Santorini sunset snack!

Kokkinisto: A rich stew of beef, pork or chicken cooked with red wine and tomatoes.

Souvlaki: A very popular Greek dish that translates to ‘meat-on-a-skewer’, Souvlaki is seasoned, spit-roasted meat, generally pork or chicken, served with tzatziki sauce.

Spanikopita: Otherwise known as Greek spinach pie, this Greek starter consists of feta cheese, butter, olive oil and layered pastry, baked until golden crispy!

Choriatiki: Commonly known as the Greek Salad, this side dish is a must for almost every Greek meal. The salad consists of tomatoes, olives, cucumber, and feta with dressing of vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil served on the side.

Amygdalota: A gluten-free almond cookie that is wildly popular across Greece and often served with a warm cup of Greek coffee.

Loukoumades: Bite-sized of fried doughnut with a Greek twist. These golden puffs are doused in syrup or honey and sprinkled in cinnamon, sugar, walnuts, or chocolate.

The anise-flavoured aperitif known as ouzo is the national alcoholic beverage of Greece. But be warned, it’s a quite strong liqueur made famous amongst travellers for its lingering hangover! Ouzo is usually mixed with water and served chilled or over ice. There are many kinds of beer in Greece but if you are looking for a local flavour – try Mythos, Alpha or Fix!

Essentials to Bring & Internet

-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/

-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)

-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)

-Personal medical kit and medicine

-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)

-Power Adapter

-Reusable water bottle

-Ear plugs and eye mask

-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen

-Comfortable, closed walking shoes

-Wind/water proof jacket

-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather

-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather

Internet Access

Free WIFI can be found throughout an abundance of cafes, shopping malls and restaurants in Turkey’s major cities and stopover, however quality of connection differs. While the Travel Talk Hotel accommodations almost always include WIFI, meaning there will be plenty of time to upload those travel pics and give your friends and family back home a call!

Internet access is common in hotels, cafes and restaurants across Greece and the Greek Islands. Many internet cafes can be found in the cities as well. If your current Mobile SIM provider is from the EU or UK, it may be possible that you can use your data roaming free of charge in Greece. Please consult your mobile provider to find out more. Alternatively, purchasing a Greek SIM card for the duration of your tour may be a cost-effective option. Your guide will be happy to advise on this.

Culture, Religion and Etiquette

Turkey

Turkish Culture has its share of interesting traditions that you are unlikely to find anywhere else in the world. Due to its proximity to diverse cultures and its vast history, you will discover remarkable samples of Ancient Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman influences around the country. Depending upon the region of Turkey you are travelling to, cultural practices dialect vary significantly. Turkish are renowned for being extremely friendly, polite and hospital. However, it is important to remember that while most Turkish cities are modern metropolises, Turks can still be quite traditional. The villages of Turkey tend to be more modest, with the sale of alcohol less common. Turkish bathhouses (Hamams) and Coffee Houses are popular pasttimes and traditions amongst the locals while nightclubs and bars are the standard form of entertainment for young Turks in the big cities.

Turkish people are seen to be polite and formal with both greetings and attire. The vast majority of the population in Turkey identify as Muslim and Islamic holidays, such as Ramadan, are recognised as public holidays. It is important to be aware and respectful of local customs. Please feel welcome to speak with your tour leader if you have any questions regarding local customs, religions, or appropriate clothing to wear while on tour. With this in mind, we strongly recommend wearing clothing that covers both from your shoulders to knees when visiting or nearby mosques and other religious complexes in Turkey. It is also recommended that female travellers carry a scarf on them to wear when visiting mosques.

Greece

The Greek culture remains heavily influenced by its ancient past. Greeks are particularly proud of their culture, speaking of their nation with intense passion and sense of belonging. Greece is held to be the cradle of Western civilisation, the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, literature, drama, historiography,
and the Olympic Games. Since ancient times, the Greek have lived by the expression of ‘Kefi’ meaning life is meant to be lived to its fullest. Kefi is a way of life and is seen as the ‘Spirit of Greece’ because despite the hardships the country has faced overtime, the locals actively seek happiness and positivity in daily life through small moments such as a shared meal or through music and dance. It is for this reason that family, music, food, religion and traditions are essential cornerstones to the Greek culture. The Greeks are a friendly, proud and curious people who know how to enjoy life.

Religion plays an important role in the understanding of daily culture. 98% of the Greeks are Christian Orthodox. Greece is one of the few countries with such a big proportion of Orthodox Christians and you can spot a charming church in almost every plot of land or island. The Church plays a vital role in everyday life and attending weddings, baptisms, and funerals is vitally important, even for people who would not normally attend church, such as the younger people. While Greece is quite modern with its views on casual clothing and it is recommended to wear light, summer clothing; it’s important to remember that churches and monasteries will require you to cover your shoulders and legs when visiting. Travel Talk recommends bringing a set of clothing with you appropriate for such occasions and encourages female travellers to have a scarf to wear around shoulders or waist at religious sites.

Solo Travellers

We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.

Rules to Follow

We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.

We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.

You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.

If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.

Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/

Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.

Responsible Travel

We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/

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