National information on Turkey & Rhodes/Greece 15 days

Greece and Turkey:

Greece is a peninsular and island state in southeast Europe. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, weather can be subject to strong seasonal changes. The country has been governed as a parliamentary democracy since 1974 with a unicameral system of 300 representatives. Few countries have such a rich history as Turkey. Today’s Turkey is a modern democracy, with tourism playing an ever greater role. No trip to Turkey 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 Turkey and Greece, it is customary to give tips. Similarly to the USA, this forms part of their income for people working in the sector. Moreover, it symbolises recognition for the service provided. One can tip chambermaids £0.85 to £1.70 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 £1.70 per person per day. While for bus drivers the appropriate sum is around £0.85 to £1.70 per day per person. Of course, everyone may decide for themselves whether and how much of a tip they wish to give.

Electricity:

Turkey: The supply voltage is 220 V, 50 HZ.
Greece: 220 V alternating current, 110 V direct current in some areas. An adapter is necessary.

Local time:

The time difference between the UK and Turkey/Northern Cyprus is plus two hours throughout the year.

Making telephone calls:

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

Entry requirements for British citizens:

Turkey: British nationals require a visa to enter Turkey. It is recommended that you apply for a visa online at www.evisa.gov.tr. Passports must be valid for a minimum period of six months
from the date of entry into Turkey. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the 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 concerning passport and visa requirements for Turkey are the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey (“MFA”) whose Web site is at www.mfa.gov.tr. Visas can be obtained through the MFA’s electronic visa application portal at www.evisa.gov.tr and UK passport holders will be expected to have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months as of their date of arrival in Turkey. 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 Turkish Embassy and the Greek Embassy before you travel.

Greece: Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. The Greek authorities have confirmed they will
accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014. You don’t need a visa to enter Greece. As a British passport holder,
you can stay as a visitor for 3 months. For longer stays, you will need to apply for a residence permit. However, passport and visa requirements change from time to time and are also dependant on the purpose of your visit and your nationality. Whilst we endeavour to provide guidance where necessary, 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.

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 and a welcome drink. 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 Turkey has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras on arrival. We recommend booking the following packages when you get there, as some hotels on the tour are situated out of town in idyllic countryside, which means you can benefit from special rates.
Cultural trip gourmet package: This package includes a sumptuous buffet each evening featuring international specialties during the 7-day cultural trip: only £150 per person (bookable upon arrival).

Explorer package: This package includes the following additional events: excursion to Rhodes City + Lindos (excl. lunch), Rhodes by Night (incl. show + drinks), Dancing Dervishes show, excursion to Sirince Village and the Grandmaster Palace, for only £130 per person (bookable upon arrival).

Currency:

Turkey: Since 1 January 2009, the currency has once again been called the Turkish lira (TRY). Exchange rate (as of August 2016):
1 GBP = 4.01 TRY; 1 TRY = 0.25 GBP.
The Euro is accepted as currency in most tourist regions.
Greece: Greece is a member of the EU. It uses the Euro as currency.

Banks/Credit cards:

Turkey: 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 noon, 1.30 p.m. – 5 p.m. Cash can be withdrawn from cash machines using established international credit cards like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; the use of debit cards is only possible with some machines. Credit cards are usually also accepted in larger hotels, various shops and international car rental offices.

Greece: Bank opening hours: Mon. to Thurs. 8 am to 4 pm, Fri. 8 am to 1.30 pm; sometimes longer in larger cities. Popular credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted almost everywhere. For a fee, cash can be withdrawn from ATMs using EC cards with PIN number. Cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are also accepted as means of payment. ATTENTION: Caution is advised when paying with a bank or credit card as criminals may be trying to copy the traveller’s bank card and obtain the relevant PIN code without being noticed to then be able to withdraw cash from cash machines with fake cards. Travellers are therefore advised to keep an eye on their bank card when paying with it and to enter their PIN number with discretion. Care should also be taken when using the bank and credit cards with the PIN code in exchange offices.

Customs regulations:

Turkey: The following regulations apply for tourists: 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 Turkey. Otherwise, the following goods per person may be carried upon entry into Turkey (does not apply to transit travellers): personal belongings as items for personal use, incl. medical articles (devices) and medicine as well as giftware to a value of 230 GBP (children under 15 years of age up to 110 GBP).
Greece: On entering from third (non-EU) countries, goods can be imported for personal use. The following guidelines apply for alcohol and tobacco: 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco. 1 litre of spirits with an alcohol content of more than 22% or 2 litres of spirits with a max. alcohol content of 22%. More detailed customs specifications for both countries are available from the embassies of the respective destination country. Legally binding information can only be provided there. Further information under: www.fco.gov.uk. Information about the customs regulations for importing products into the UK is found on the British customs website: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk.

Criminal provisions:

In both countries, the purchase, possession and export of “cultural and natural properties” is severely punished 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 also common procedure for tourists 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.

Greece: The purchase, possession, import and export of narcotic drugs (even smaller quantities) is severely punished. Do not carry any defence sprays. Possession and use are prohibited in Greece and will be criminally prosecuted. Taking photographs of military facilities and key civil facilities (airports/harbours) is prohibited due to the risk of espionage. Non-compliance will be criminally prosecuted.

Medical information:

Vaccinations are not required for entering Turkey. All travellers should be sufficiently protected against tetanus and polio as well as hepatitis, if needs be. Caution is advised when eating uncooked food, unpasteurised milk (e.g. fresh milk, ice cream) and fruit that can not be peeled. Please avoid drinking tap water and ice cubes in drinks! Rule of thumb: do not eat anything that can not be cooked or peeled!

Turkey: Pharmacies are found at every turn. They are recognised by their green cross and the “Eczane” inscription. The standard is high, the personnel fully trained. Especially in those regions in which tourism flourishes, English-speaking staff are the norm. Most of the medicines that require prescription in the United Kingdom are also only available in Turkey by prescription only. Handling is somewhat more “relaxed”, though. Hospitals and a number of medical practices are found in every larger city and in the tourist regions; usually only community hospitals are based in smaller towns and villages. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), relating to free medical treatment in EU countries, is not valid in Turkey. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation. In any event, travellers should obtain information about the possibilities
and requirements for a reimbursement of costs from their health insurance company before setting off on their travels.

Greece: You are advised to protect yourself from mosquito bites. In Greece, anyone with state insurance in Germany is entitled to medical treatment – where urgently necessary – by doctors, dentists, hospitals etc. registered with the foreign statutory health insurance association. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Replacement Certificate must be presented as proof (both documents can be obtained from your health insurance company).
In any case, it is advisable to contact your health insurance company prior to travelling for information on the possibilities and conditions governing reimbursement of costs. The Foreign Office also recommends taking out foreign health insurance cover with repatriation insurance. Please observe that the excursions are accessible by foot only and that the buses used for the roundtrip are not customised to transport wheelchairs or similar devices.

All information is subject to change/Last updated: August 2016


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