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Information on Türkiye & Rhodes/Greece

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General note:

Below is an information overview. The conditions of entry, as well as the political and health situation, can change anywhere in the world at any time. We therefore recommend checking before your trip. Please check the website of the Foreign Office (www.gov.uk) before your departure.

Geography:

Rhodes: 4th-largest Greek island, belonging to the Dodecanese group of islands I Türkiye: on the Mediterranean Sea on the border of Europe and Asia

Capital:

Greece: Athens (population approx. 665,000) I Türkiye: Ankara (population approx. 5.5 million)

Form of government:

Greece: Parliamentary republic I Türkiye: Republic/Parliamentary Republic

Religion:

Greece: 97 % Orthodox I Türkiye: 98 % Islam

Language:

Greece: Greek as official language I Türkiye: Turkish as official language

Climate:

Greece: Sunny, Mediterranean climate I Türkiye: Subtropical climate

Local time:

Greece is two hours ahead of UK time, all year round. The time zone in Türkiye is GMT +3 hours with no daylight saving time.

Electricity:

Greece: 230 V alternating current, 50 HZ. An adapter is necessary. | Türkiye: The supply voltage is 220 V, 50 HZ. An adapter is necessary.

Making telephone calls:

The country code for Greece is 0030 and for Türkiye 0090 with the zero cancelled before the area code. If you are calling the UK from Greece or Türkiye, please dial 0044 and the area code without the zero.

Country and people:

Few countries have such a rich history as Greece and Türkiye. No trip to Türkiye would be complete without a visit to the Turkish bazaars to soak up the oriental flair. The handmade carpets, jewellery and leather goods are an integral part and to some extent centuries-old tradition of the oriental culture – which is why our tour also includes a visit to a jewellery maker, a leather merchant and a traditional carpet weaver. Here you will find out fascinating facts about the Turkish art of carpet weaving and see how hand-woven carpets have been made throughout the generations. In interesting demonstrations, you will learn more about preparing the silk threads, natural wool dyeing and very intricate and elaborate tying with the renowned ”Turkish knot”. You will then get to spend one to two hours in the respective factories looking at the works of art and products. Bartering is a typical Turkish custom. If you are not interested in buying anything, the traders will also accept a clear no. No bartering takes place in department stores and supermarkets, or at markets where local farmers sell their vegetables. In Türkiye and Greece, it is customary to give tips. Similar to the USA, this forms part of their income for people working in the sector. Moreover, it symbolizes recognition for the service provided. One can tip chambermaids £1 to £2 per night. In a restaurant or taxi, tipping around 10% of the billed sum is customary. Tips are not given in shops. On group trips, the suggested sum for a tour guide could be £2 per person per day. While for bus drivers the appropriate sum is around £1 to £2 per day per person. Of course, everyone may decide for themselves whether and how much of a tip they wish to give.

Entry requirements for British citizens:

British Citizens travelling to Greece and Türkiye for tourist purposes are able to travel without a visa for visits of up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’) and should be valid for at least 150 days from the date you arrive (in Türkiye) and there should be a full blank page for the Turkish entry and exit stamps. Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Greece as a visitor. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you are complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit. Nationals of other countries are advised to enquire at the Greek and Turkish Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them. Customers are reminded that it is their sole responsibility to make sure that passport and visa entry requirements for the country or countries that they are visiting are satisfied and we can not be responsible for any problems encountered (whether at any point of entry or elsewhere) in the event that passport and visa requirements are not satisfied. Regulations in respect of passport and visa requirements for Greece are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whose Website is https://www.mfa.gr/en/index.html. If you hold a different type of British nationality (BN(O), British Overseas Citizen, British Protected Person or British Subject), check visa requirements with the Greek Embassy before you travel. Regulations in respect of passport and visa requirements for Türkiye are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye (“MFA”) whose website is at www.mfa.gov.tr. However, passport and visa requirements change from time to time and depend on the purpose of your visit and your nationality. Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary. For up-to-date information on entry requirements, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/.
The EU has a new visa waiver system, called ETIAS, which will be valid for three years. British passport holders travelling to the EU will need to apply and pay for an ETIAS, via an online system (https://etias.com/).

Tour guides:

Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture, etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Greece and Türkiye has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people.

Additional packages:

Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras. We recommend booking the following packages:
Gourmet package: The package includes a delicious buffet every evening with international specialities during the 7-day cultural tour: only £ 159* per person.
Explorer package: The package includes full day excursion to “Izmir & Sirince“: only £ 85 per person (bookable on arrival).
* Package prices may vary when booking on site.

Tourist tax:

In Greece, a climate protection fee of up to €10 (£ 8.55) per room per night applies from 1 March to 31 October for 4- and 5-star hotels. Outside of this period, the state spa and city tax of up to €4 (£ 3.40) per room per night applies (as of January 2024).

Currency/Banks/Credit cards:

Greece is a member of the EU. The currency is the Euro. Exchange rate (as at February 2024): 1 GBP = 1.17 Euro; 1 Euro = 0.85 GBP. Bank opening times are Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 14:00, Friday 08:00 – 13:30. In major cities opening hours are sometimes longer. Popular credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted almost everywhere. A debit card and PIN number can be used to withdraw cash from cash machines for a fee. Cards bearing the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are also accepted as means of payment. CAUTION: When paying with debit or credit cards, we recommend vigilance against fraudsters who will secretly try to copy tourists‘ bank cards and spy out the associated PIN so that they can then withdraw cash from cash machines using a cloned card. Travellers are therefore advised when paying by card to always keep their card in sight and to conceal the PIN when entering it. Caution is advised when using debit and credit cards with a PIN in currency exchanges.
Türkiye: Since 1 January 2009, the currency is once again called the Turkish lira (TRY). Exchange rate (as of February 2024): 1 GBP = 39,23 TRY; 1 TRY = 0.03 GBP.
Money can be exchanged at banks during opening hours. Another option to change currency is offered at larger hotels. Bank opening hours: Mon – Fri from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., 1.30 to 5.30 p.m. Cash can be withdrawn from cash machines using established international credit cards like Visa, Mastercard, American Express; the usage of debit cards is only possible with some machines. Credit cards are usually also accepted in the larger hotels, various shops and international car rental offices.

Customs regulations:

Greece: There are a number of products which have entry or exit limitations in Greece from outside the European Union. These include cultural goods, wild fauna and flora and products derived from these, vegetables and plant products, weapons and ammunition, medicines, tobacco and alcoholic beverages (please note the alcohol and cigarette allowances). You cannot take meat, milk or products containing them into EU countries. In terms of medications, only those necessary for personal use are allowed, and they must be accompanied by a copy of the prescription or medical report.
Türkiye: The import of foreign currency is unlimited. As for exporting currency, a total amount of 5,000 US dollars or the equivalent in TRY is permitted. Travellers may import and export personal jewellery to a total value of 15,000 US dollars. Any value higher than this must be declared when entering the country. Documentation is required for purchases made in Türkiye.
Important: If you are travelling to Great Britain from outside the UK, your personal allowances mean you can bring in a certain amount of goods without paying tax or duty. If you go over your allowances you must declare all your goods and pay tax and duty on all the goods in that category. Please inform yourself about the current customs regulations: http://www.gov.uk/bringing-goods-into-uk-personal-use/arriving-in-Great-Britain.

Safety information specific to Türkiye:

British citizens wishing to stay in or travel to Türkiye are generally recommended to keep an eye on the security situation, these travel and safety instructions and on reports in the media. Groups of people gathering, including on public squares and in front of tourist attractions, as well as hanging around near government and military buildings should be avoided. Following the failed violent attempted coup, there have been isolated incidents of aggressive attacks by followers of certain political parties on people with supposedly different views. We strongly recommend remaining vigilant for such escalations, distancing yourself from the situation as quickly as possible and finding a secure location.

Special criminal law provisions:

Greece: The acquisition, possession, import or export of drugs (even in small quantities) is severely punished. Photographing military installations and important civilian facilities (airports / ports) is prohibited due to the risk of spying. Violations will be prosecuted. For cases of theft, deliberate or negligent damage, illegal excavation and removal from the site (i.e. without permission or notification to the authorities) of archaeological finds, prison sentences of up to several years can also be imposed on foreigners, depending on the severity of the offence.
Türkiye: The purchase, possession and export of “cultural and natural properties” is severely punished (prison sentence of up to 10 years), as these properties are regarded as state-owned assets. In case of violation, several months of custody and high bail fees (currently approx. 7,000 GBP) are common procedure for tourists, too, even if they hold antiques or old objects of supposed small value. In individual cases, prison sentences are imposed. You are therefore urgently warned not to acquire or take along antiques, old coins, fossils, etc. from retailers. It is strongly advised against making political statements in public against the Turkish state or expressing sympathy with terrorist organisations.

Medical information:

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website (https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries). Each countryspecific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Caution is advised when eating uncooked food, unpasteurised milk (e.g. fresh milk, ice cream) and fruit that can’t be peeled. Please avoid drinking tap water and ice cubes in drinks! Rule of thumb: don’t eat anything that cannot be cooked or peeled!

Medical care:

Greece: Anyone entitled to free healthcare in the UK is also entitled to treatment in Greece – if it is urgently required – from doctors, dentists, hospitals, and so on that are approved by the foreign statutory health insurance company. You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date. You can also contact your health insurance company for information on current regulations. Nonetheless, you are urgently recommended to take out travel health insurance for the duration of your holiday which covers risks not assumed by the statutory health insurance companies. Such policies usually also offer benefits not covered by state health insurance companies, e.g. the costs of repatriation.
Türkiye: Medical treatment options in the country‘s major cities and tourist regions have improved significantly in recent years. In particular, the large number of private hospitals offer a level approaching that of Europe. In many cases, medical care in rural areas cannot be compared to Western Europe and can be problematic in terms of technology, equipment and hygiene. Any valid health insurance cover you may have (foreign health insurance certificate) is often not sufficient. It is therefore strongly advised to take out private travel health insurance and reliable travel repatriation insurance. In private clinics, it is common to ask for a covered credit card or cash before starting treatment. An individual first-aid kit should be taken along and appropriately protected from the hot temperatures while travelling. An individual consultation with a tropical medicine doctor or travel medicine specialist is also advisable.

Customers must ensure that they are in good physical and mental health in line with the trip in question. Customers must enquire about the physical mobility and psychological autonomy required for this trip.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: February 2024


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