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Popular Walking holiday
Ski surrounded by the Italian Dolomites' jagged peaks. Departures December through to February.
This is a small group adult holiday. The group is usually between 4 and 16 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list
This was an incredible trip and our guide Zafar made it so. He was extremely knowledgeable about Turkish history and was able to impart it in a very interesting way. His sense of humour and the stories he was able to tell about life and events in history made it come alive.he willingly arranged group suppers for us every night of the trip and we were able to have amazing culinary experiences we would not have had otherwise. The scenery and the variety of experiences meant we were never bored.
Several. The hot air ballon ride, the underground cities, the amphitheatres.......
Extremely good. In addition to faithfully following the itinerary,he went out of his way to take us places that were not on the the itinerary but were well worth seeing. He would patiently translate for us in restaurants and elsewhere, not an easy job in a larger group. He was always a gentleman and was very helpful if someone needed to find a pharmacy, buy stamps and other little incidentals. His knowledge was incredible. Exodus is lucky to have him as a guide.
If you plan to take this trip, try to get Zafar as a guide. I have already told this to several friends who are considering a visit to Turkey as a result of talking to me about my trip.
This was a tour of an amazing country. Turkey is an amalgam of people that have arrived over the centuries, leaving behind a wonderful heritage; there are so many ancient sites that the local population have lived alongside and only recently begun to appreciate. And yet it is amazingly self-sufficient in the modern climate of globalization.
Termessos was my highlight site. It is in a natural state, and our group was virtually alone there, allowing us time to wander, explore, contemplate. This contrasted with Ephesus, which has been partially restored, but was busy with cruise ship crowds.
Istanbul's Blue Mosque was fantastic, but so too were sites not on the itinerary. Such as the caravanseri at Saltanhani, and the restored wooden Esrefoglu Mosque at Beysehir.
The Museum Of Anatolian Civilisations, and Antikabir were other highlights. We were amazed to find Kemal Ataturk is so highly revered even today. And of course, being Kiwis, and having relations who fought and died at Gallipoli, this was an amazingly special place.
The balloon ride is a not-to-be-missed highlight. Our flight had to be rearranged for the 2nd morning in Goreme after the first flight didn't go ahead due to low cloud.
Zafer was an excellent guide. His knowledge, enthusiasm and pride for his country was evident throughout the journey. Long days in the coach would be broken up with history lessons on upcoming attractions, explanations of modern Turkey, and then at the appropriate moment he would throw in some humour to lighten things up. He was always available to answer questions and help make our trip memorable.
On the 'free' day at Fethiye Zafer took us to the Lycian rock tombs, the Kayakoy village, then a swim at Oludeniz followed by buying us all ice-creams. It was a wonderful gesture.
Zafer took us to group dinners most nights at local restaurants; these are cheap and authentic. By comparison, dinner at the Antalya resort hotel was very average and expensive. A memorable lunch spot was an out-of-the-way riverside restaurant near Aspendos.
Our tour was in September, and it was very hot in the south, as stated in the trip notes. And Turkey is a big country, there are many miles spent on the coach, and some unexciting roadside lunch places. Try to enjoy it all.
I enjoyed a wonderful hamam in Fethiye. Do it! And don't miss out on the balloon flight!
There is more to Istanbul than what this tour has time for; allow extra time before or after the tour. We also traveled back to Gallipoli for a few more days of leisurely exploration and relaxation.
We have traveled a fair bit, often self-guided. Our only other Exodus tour was in Morocco 5 years ago and the guide for that trip used local guides at most of the local attractions, an added expense. We much preferred that Zafer had the credentials to do the local guiding.
We had a great crew of fellow travelers that really helped make this a most memorable trip.
Turkey is an amazing country. There is so much to see and the two week tour is only going to give you a taste of what this country has to offer.
Definitely the hot air balloon ride. Be prepared for an early morning start (4:45am) but it is well worth it. So quiet and smooth and amazing to drift over the valley and at one point to sail just a few feet above a local hotel's swimming pool!
Zafer is an extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic tour guide. He took us to many additional ancient sites that were not on the itinerary. He made sure our group dinners were in local restaurants which allowed us to eat very well, mix with the local people and the meals were always at a lower cost than in the hotels. He often treated us to some Turkish sweets. I was glad to have him as our tour leader.
Be prepared for some long bus rides. Always have bottled water with you. September/October the weather is iffy so layer clothing. Some of the ancient sites are on the top of a hill - so there are long uneven pathways to hike up. CATS! Hundreds of them. All strays and very hungry especially in the smaller towns. So be prepared to eat lunch and/or dinner and have at least two little faces looking up at you hoping for a handout.
Istanbul! Please, please stay on for some additional days here. It is an amazing city and definitely worth at least three extra days either before or after the tour. However, October 5 - 8 is Feast of the Sacrifice a national holiday. The Grand Bazaar was closed as well as all pharmacies and some shops.
The best place to shop in Istanbul is the Grand Bazaar (one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world) where you can get antiques, rugs, jewellery, leather goods, ceramics and lots of souvenirs. Highly recommended is a visit to the Spice Bazaar as well. Its the best place to buy spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, lokum (Turkish Delight) and many other goods. There is an amazing atmosphere and it's one of the world’s most exciting shopping experiences!
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
Find a nice coffee shop around the old town, relax and enjoy your turkish coffee or apple tea watching locals passing by. You can go to Galate Bridge to see local fisherman, where there are great views and you can take amazing pictures. If you have more time, you can take a ferry from Kabatas to one of the Princes' Islands on the Sea of Marmara . The largest and most popular island is Buyukada, while Heybeliada is the second largest in the archipelago. There are some historical buildings, churches and museums and you can find a nice place to relax and escape from the city even for a few hours.
No matter how long you will stay in Istanbul you will have a wonderful time in this magical city!
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
The most popular dish in Turkey are kebabs, dishes of plain or marinated meat either stewed or grilled. The aubergine and eggplant salad are used in a wide variety of dishes. Kebabs can also be cooked with onions, garlic and tomatoes and served cold as "imam bayildi". Stuffed mussels and shrimp stew are popular as well.
Turkish sweets are famous throughout the world and many of these have milk as the basic ingredient. The best-known are "baklava", "kadayif" pastries and turkish delights. If you like alcohol you can try "Raki" made of anise, it is called the "lions drink" because you must be strong as a lion to drink it!
Joanna Zubr - Customer Operations
I normally take just Sterling cash, with a debit or credit card to use in ATMs as a back up. As long as you excercise the same degree of common sense you would at home, you won't have any problems. Make sure you advise your bank before leaving home that you will be there, to avoid any problems. You will be changing into the local currency, the Turkish lira, and spending that. Almost all towns have money changing and ATM facilities.
Katarzyna Crompton - Turkey Operations
Most nationalities (including UK and US citizens) require visas. From 10 April 2014 it will no longer be possible to purchase a Turkish visa on arrival. This can now be obtained online at www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ for approximately US$20.
The visa is valid for a stay of up to three months (dependent on passport holder's nationality). For a longer stay a visa from a Turkish Embassy is required.
Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain the appropriate visa if required..
Ian Langford - Sales
Breakfast: typically comprising a selection from tea, coffee, bread, butter, jam, cheese, olives, cucumber, tomatoes, yoghurt.
Lunch and dinner: often a buffet arrangement with several freshly cooked dishes to choose from. Kebabs are of course to be found everywhere.
Picnic lunches: when taken on trek, typically comprise a selection from bread, cold meat, cheese, (sometimes boiled eggs or tinned fish), fresh salad vegetables, fresh fruit.
Most people find that Turkish cuisine is one of the most varied in the world and there is usually something to please everyone. Vegetarians will generally find themselves well catered for as many Turkish dishes are based on vegetables and dairy products.
Other than whilst on trek drinks are not included with meals (except breakfast) as a wide variety is normally available and it is better to allow you the choice. Mineral water, excellent fruit juices, beer and wine are generally readily available at about half to three-quarters of the UK price, depending on locality. Tea (usually taken in small glasses) is cheap, and so is Turkish coffee (strong, taken in small cups). The only drinks that can be more expensive are European instant coffee and spirits.
Please note that the holy month of Ramadan will take place during specific dates each year, the actual dates will be listed in the respective Trip Notes. This is a time when followers of Islam do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. This can sometimes affect the opening hours of certain tourist sites. However we will ensure that that the itinerary is affected as little as possible if you travel during this period. Food and drink is available to tourists during the day.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
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