Currency: Turkish Lira
Time Zone: EET/GMT+2
Tipping: It is standard to leave a 10% tip when in Turkey.
Turkey is one of those places that attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year with many just seeking somewhere that offers sunshine, heat and fabulous beaches to relax upon. Turkey is definitely a world away from the stereotypical persona given of kebabs, woven-carpets and men with moustaches haggling for a bargain! Although you cannot avoid this stereotype as it will be all around you, you can venture further on your Turkey holidays to discover what the country is really all about.
First on your agenda for escorted Turkey tours is to the capital city Istanbul with its stunning Blue Mosque taking over the horizon. The Blue Mosque is one of the most popular attractions to be visited in Istanbul and to maintain its sacred atmosphere, admission is strictly controlled. Istanbul is a haven for historical buildings including TopkapiPalace, the Maiden's Tower at Kiz Kulesi, the fascinating frescoes at Chora Church and a plethora of interesting archaeology museums. Join the locals and take tea at tranquil Derviş Aile Ҫay Bahҫesi – a traditional Tea Garden – or enjoy a sumptuous meal in a Meyhane (tavern). At night, the city really does come to life with its pulsating range of restaurants, bars and clubs. No city break to Istanbul would be the same without exploring the famous Kapali Ҫarşi (Grand Bazaar) or tempt your senses with a visit to the Spice Bazaar.
Turkey tours will show you the many connections it has with the Romans from the ruins of the Híerapolîs located above the unusual white travertines of the 'Cotton Castle' in Pamukkale. These travertines look like glaciers but in fact it is a natural alkaline construction. You should visit Pamukkale as it is an extremely fascinating place, but the whiteness can be dazzling so do wear sunglasses and be careful walking through the water as the ground can be uneven. Visit Ephesus to see the remain of a complete Roman city including the 25,000 seat amphitheatre. You can also visit Pergamum with its Acropolis and Asclepion, both fine examples of the former Anatolian Kingdom. FollowLycian Way which will take you through pleasant countryside and visit Cappadocia with its fairy-tale chimneys and find out why there is an underground city here.
During the summer months, the weather in Turkey can be extremely hot so if you are not a fan of high temperatures, best to avoid these times. Spring (April to May) or autumn (September to October) are good times to visit as the climate will be perfect for sightseeing but you can also top up your tan. The Aegean and Mediterranean coasts offer perfect conditions between mid-May to September and the gentle sea breeze will bring welcome relief.
Holidays to Turkey usually include; return flights, transportation whilst in the resort, accommodation in good standard hotels, meals and a variety of included or optional excursions all adding up to a fabulous holiday for you!
The beauty of travelling in an escorted tour is that you'll be in the safest hands when it comes to holidaying in foreign lands. To help you have an enjoyable holiday in Turkey, take a look at these useful tips and advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO):
Health and Travel Insurance
Local Laws and Customs
Health and Travel Insurance
You should contact your GP before travelling to Turkey to check whether any vaccinations or preventative measures are needed.
Turkey does not accept the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) so it is essential that you ensure you have travel insurance before you travel in addition to extra funds that can cover the cost of treatment and repatriation. Most tours offer the chance to purchase one-trip travel insurance at the time of booking.
If you need to contact the emergency services for an ambulance dial 112. If you are taken to a medical facility for treatment contact your insurance provider immediately.
Levels of crime tend to be low in Turkey, however street crime such as pickpocketing can be common in major tourist areas. Be cautious of people offering you food and drink, it would be wise if you buy your own.
Visitors to Turkey should maintain the same level of awareness as they do in the UK. Drinks are often stronger in foreign countries so be cautious and know your limits.
Do not be surprised when in Turkey to be approached by a local asking you to visit their establishment to sign their Visitors Book 'for luck' or to have a cup of traditional tea with them. Ignore your usual politeness and just walk away from them, this is just a ploy to get you into their business to make you spend money. Some will even say that you do not need to buy anything but they have a way of making you part with your cash.
The majority of bars, clubs and restaurants have a representative whose job it is to get more tourists through the doors. Do not feel obliged to enter, you can simply walk away from them. Never be forced to do anything that you do not want to.
Always use registered yellow cabs and note the number plate of the vehicle before getting in.
Local Laws and Customs
Smoking is not allowed on public transport and in other public areas. You can be fined if caught smoking in a smoke-free zone.
As with almost everywhere, Turkey has strict laws about drug crime. You can expect fines/prison sentences for possession, trafficking or even use of illegal substances.
Dress sensibly when visiting mosques or other religious venues. Ladies should cover their legs and shoulders. Men should keep their chests covered.
It is illegal to not carry some form of photographic ID when in Turkey, a photocopy of your passport will suffice.
British citizens need a visa to enter Turkey (with the exception of cruise ship passengers). Visas cost £10 and this is paid on entry into the country, or you can apply for a visa with the Turkish consulate in London before travelling. Some tour operators also offer this service but may charge an administration fee. If unsure, check on booking.
You passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date your enter Turkey. UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry, exit and airside transit when in Turkey.
Any other nationality looking to visit Turkey must contact the local embassy to check visa requirements.
To find out more about visiting Turkey, check out their official tourism website at gototurkey.co.uk