Turkey is a vast country offering its visitors from incredible landscapes to unique historical and archaeological sites. Turkey is well known as a destination for relaxing beach holidays; it also offers many sporting activities. Due to Turkey's diverse geography, one can experience four different climates in any one day. With year-round activity, including white-water rafting, trekking, ballooning, yatching and skiing, there are many other things to experience in Turkey such as Turkish baths and spas, nature and shopping just to name a few!
This information has been compiled for your reference in good faith but please use this only as a general guide. We advise you to check with relevant authorities with regard to the latest requirement for passport, visa, travel advisory, entry restrictions, health requirements, local currency etc as these are subjected to change with without prior notice and our information given below may not be as updated.
Best time to go: It is commonly said that you can experience each of the four seasons on the same day in some parts of Turkey. The summers are generally quite warm and humid but the winters months of November to March can be really very cold especially the eastern parts of Turkey. Spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) are the best times to visit, since the climate is perfect for touring in Western or coastal Turkey but it’s pleasantly cold in central region.
The most popular sport in Turkey is football (soccer), the Turkish national team came third in the 2002 World Cup Finals.
Visa: New Zealanders do not require a visa to enter in Turkey for their travel up to 90 days.
Currency:Turkish Lira (TL) is the national unit of currency. The banknotes are of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 liras. Coins of 1 lira, 50, 25, 10, 5, 1 kurus. Foreign currencies can easily be changed at the banks, change offices and PTT branches. Major credit cards like American Express, VISA, Diners Club, MasterCard, Access, are accepted at most establishments.
A stranger who appears at one’s doorstep is considered God’s guest for at least three days.
Health: Turkeydoes not have any particular health risk and general hygienic conditions are generally of high standard. However, there are a few precautions recommended – avoid eating food exposed to natural elements, ensure that mineral water bottle is properly sealed when you buy it, cover arms and legs in the evening to avoid mosquito bites during summer. Carry your general medication with you and consult your doctor well in advance to prepare for the trip.
Food and drinks: Visitors who are not familiar with Turkish cuisine have a delightful surprise in store for them: stemming partly from the spectacular variety of ingredients and partly from the influence of the numerous civilizations which have inhabited Anatolia throughout history, Turkish cuisine is simply delicious. As you visit different areas of Turkey, there are local specialties which must be eaten in their home region to be fully appreciated. Thus Kanlica in Istanbul is famous for its yoghurt, Bursa for its Iskendar Kebab, Gaziantep for its pistachio nuts, the Black Sea for hamsi (fried anchovies) and corn bread and the Syrian borderlands (Urfa and Adana) for spicy shish kebabs.
Bottled water is advised for drinking and can be purchased at all shops. (Although tap water is safe to drink since it is chlorinated, it is recommended to follow the advice of the relevant authorities at the place of residence).
The last meal on Noah’s Ark consisting of a pudding of over 20 ingredients having sweet and sour taste is still served in Turkey.
Safety & security:Like in any other part of the world, a few precautions need to be taken to avoid any problems. Please do not leave your bags unattended at any times. Please use safe deposit in your hotel room or Reception to keep your money or valuables including passport. When you leave the room, it is recommended that you lock your suitcase. It is also recommended to carry a copy of your passport including the visa page.
Clothing:Casual and semi-casual summer clothes are acceptable in Turkey during summer months and residents are fairly tolerant of different cultures' mode of dress. Take light cotton clothing and smart casual for evening dining. Light woollens recommend when travelling in March/April or September/October for unexpected chill.
Saint Nicholas lived in Turkey.
Language: Turkish is the official language. It is the first language spoken by 90% of the 63m population. Minority languages include Kurdish, Arabic, Dimli, Azeri and Circassian. The local population does not understand English but the people working in the hospitality industry are able to converse in English even though they may not be as fluent..
Gratuities: At various establishments like hotels, restaurants, Turkish baths, barbers and hairdressers, tipping at a rate of 5%-15% of the total is common. Taxi drivers, do not expect tips or even rounded fares.
Turks gave the Dutch their famous tulips
Airport tax: Generally your international air ticket should include airport tax on international departure. Domestic taxes are also included in the air tickets.
Internet: Internet is common in hotel rooms and a lot of hotels also have internet facilities at their Reception or Business Centre for use by guests at a small fee. Cyber cafes are popular but you will find them crowded.
Turkey has more mosques per capita than any other country
Telephone: Turkey has a dialing code of +90 from New Zealand. Telephone numbers of Hotels arranged by us will be supplied to you in your itinerary. While calling New Zealand from Turkey, you will need to dial +64.
Time Difference: Turkey is 11 hrs behind New Zealand from April to September and 10 hrs from October to March.
Istanbul is the only city in the world built on two continents
Photography: Taking photos of airports, government buildings and military establishments are prohibited. If you are taking photos of local ladies, please politely ask for prior permission.
Electricity: Electricity is supplied at 220 volts all over Turkey, European round/ 2-prong plug are used. It is recommended to carry adaptors for using any electrical appliances from NZ.
The first church dedicated to Virgin Mary is in Ephesus.
Postage: Turkish post-offices are easily recognized by their blue PTT letters on a yellow background. Major post offices are open from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 a.m., Monday - Saturday, and 9:00 a.m. till 7:00 p.m., Sunday. Postal charges vary for different services depending on destination
The largest producer and exporter of Hazelnuts in the world is Turkey.
Cities of Interest
It is the capital city of Turkey spanning two continents- Asia and Europe.
Bringing together elements from Byzantine, Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Turkish civilizations, Istanbul has evolved over centuries into a city of great cultural significance. Those who love to explore the remnants of its grandiose history, the oldest part of the city – that is Sultanahmet district is where you'll find the traces of old Byzantine Constantinople. It is in the old city of Istanbul, that you will find the Topkapı Palace and the Blue Mosque.
Modern Istanbul on the other hand is a simmering metropolis well worth a visit. Strolling around IstiklalCaddesi for instance, a mile-long pedestrian thoroughfare which leads all the way up to Taksim Square in Beyoğlu district - the heart of modern Istanbul is where you'll find lots of really good shops, fine restaurants, and yes - lots of people and mostly tourists. The Taksim area is also home to much of modern Istanbul’s real nightlife. Walking all the way through IstiklalCaddesi is an experience you’ll never forget as world class shopping, restaurants, and the nightlife pulsates around this area.
Istanbul is a city of extreme contrasts. From the fabulously wealthy to the very poor; the traditionalist to the liberal; from glitzy shopping malls to backstreet markets ,from fine dining restaurants to the traditional street food, Istanbul has a lot to offer.
The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace (or East Thrace), the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek (Kallipolis), meaning "Beautiful City".
Anzac Day celebrations take place on 25 April, the day the Anzac troops landed at what is known as Anzac Cove. Attendance at the Anzac Day dawn service at Gallipoli has become popular since the 75th anniversary. More than 10,000 people attend services in Gallipoli.Until 1999, the Gallipoli dawn service was held at the Ari Burnu war cemetery at Anzac Cove, but the growing numbers of attendees resulted in the construction of a more spacious site on North Beach, Gallipoli, known as the "Anzac Commemorative Site".
Turkey's capital and the second largest city after Istanbul. Located in the center of Anatolia on the eastern edge of the great, high Anatolian Plateau, in the province of the same name, Ankara is a lovely tourist destination. Besides its cultural and architectural heritage, the city has a major European appearance than most of the other cities in Turkey, with wide-open roads, large hotels, restaurants and museums.
As a tourism destination Ankara has many things to offer to visitors. There are Hittite, Phrygian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman archaeological sites like the Temple of Augustus and Rome (20 BC) which is also known as the MonumentumAncyranum, that show the periods that the city has passed during the time. There are also beautiful museums displaying its cultural heritage and the life style of locals.
Located in the Inner Aegean region about 20 km from the town of Denizli. The main attraction in Pamukkale is the whiteness of the cliffs that has waterfalls and basins full of water. From afar, they appear like they are made of cotton, snow, or clouds. But upon closer inspection, the Pamukkale hill looks like a frozen waterfall. Pamukkale’s gleaming white terraces of calcium carbonate minerals are made of travertines or sedimentary rocks left by the flowing water from the hot springs. The city has a total of about 17 hot springs where many people have bathed in its pools for thousands of years as they have been considered therapeutic since the time of the Romans.
This beautiful town located in the superb gulf of the Aegean Region has a rich and vibrant atmosphere of mixed European and Asian influences. Its perfect blend of the ancient and the modern has attracted thousands of tourists every year in Turkey. Kusadası which literally means “bird island” boasts many of its sun-kissed sandy beaches, clear blue waters, authentic seafood and kebab restaurants, active nightlife, and other forms of recreation and entertainment for holidaymakers. Many of its tourists come to Kuşadasi not just for its beaches but also for its ancient and historical attractions. Kusadası has several interesting sights and museums which make it as a centre for art and culture.
The most tour that one can do from here is to Ephesus. Ephesus is one of the world's most magnificent restored archeological sites of antiquity. You will enjoy visit to Ephesus, walking along the marble paving, almost hear the steps of marching Roman legions or the ardent preaching of St. Paul addressing the Ephesians.
The Cappadocian region is a place where nature and history come together with the most beautiful scenery in the world. While geographic events formed peribacaları (fairy chimneys) during the historical period, humans used the signs of thousand-years-old civilizations by carving houses and churches within these earth pillars and decorating them with friezes.
Traditional Cappadocian houses and dovecotes carved into the stone show the uniqueness of the region. These houses are constructed at the foot of the mountain using rocks or cut stone. Rock, which is the only construction material of the region, as it is very soft after quarrying due to the structure, can be easily processed but after contact with air it hardens and turns into a very strong construction material.
Dovecotes within the region are small structures constructed within 18th century and end of 19th century. Some of the dovecotes, which are important in showing Islamic art are constructed on monasteries or churches. Surfaces of dovecotes are decorated with rich inscriptions and adornments by regional artists.